20 Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

My wife and I took a 5 night cruise out of Bayonne, NJ bound for Canada. I had always wanted to see the Bay of Fundy, with its 40 foot tidal drop in a matter of hours. Our stops were in St. John, NB, and Halifax, NS. The embarkation was ... Read More
My wife and I took a 5 night cruise out of Bayonne, NJ bound for Canada. I had always wanted to see the Bay of Fundy, with its 40 foot tidal drop in a matter of hours. Our stops were in St. John, NB, and Halifax, NS. The embarkation was smooth as silk. On a clear, cool night, pulling out of the berth and heading out to sea while passing under the Verrazano Bridge was magic. The ship was big, and gorgeous. Our cabin had a private balcony. It was small but nicely appointed. The food and service on board the ship were spectacular. There was certainly no shortage of food. And up on deck 11 was our own Johnny Rockets. The first day at sea was great. Air was cool, the sea was beautiful....lots of dolphins and a few whales were spotted. St. John was a small, friendly place. We booked a small boat trip on board the Voyager, which went through the rapids of the tidal flow of the Bay of Fundy. Very cool trip, but I slipped on a steep, wet ramp, and figured I sprained my ankle. It was low tide, so the ramp at the city dock was extremely steep. Took a taxi back to the ship, where I was brought on board in a wheel chair. Visited the ship's doctor, who informed me I had a bad sprain. Needed to elevate my ankle, and spend a lot of time in the cabin. The cabin service was exemplary, as they even brought my dining room dinners to my cabin, so I didn't miss out on the excellent food. Next stop was Halifax. Beautiful city.....we hired a town car with driver, and took a tour, which included Peggy's Cove. I couldn't walk much on my crutches, but it was very scenic. A day later, on the last night of the cruise, my wife was concerned that my ankle was still really swollen. When the ship's doc took another look at the x-ray, she realized she was in error, and that I had actually broken my ankle. She put me in a temporary cast, and the hospital loaned me a wheel chair. This actually helped us get off the ship the next morning back in Bayonne. Instead of waiting on line, we were taken off the ship by Paramedics and took a 1 mile ambulance ride to the Bayonne Medical Center, where I had a huge cast put on my leg (8 weeks), and was given my very own pair of crutches. This put a big damper on the summer. I felt that due to the misdiagnosis, and my wasting time keeping my leg elevated when I should have been in a cast should have warranted at least a discount on another cruise. Wrong. Royal Caribbean did nothing whatsoever. The cruise would have been fabulous if not for the accident and the misdiagnosis. I thought very highly of the ship and crew, but ended with a low opinion of the corporate entity, and how they handled my accident which really prevented me from enjoying the cruise as I should have. Shame on them. Read Less
Sail Date June 2005
Let's start out by saying how nice it was to drive to the port rather than dealing with flight plans. We arrived at Cape Liberty at 4:30pm and we went right through the arrival lines. We were in our cabin on deck 8 in record time. We ... Read More
Let's start out by saying how nice it was to drive to the port rather than dealing with flight plans. We arrived at Cape Liberty at 4:30pm and we went right through the arrival lines. We were in our cabin on deck 8 in record time. We joked that we were probably in our cabin before our "ride to the port" was back on the Turnpike. They have the system down and move you right through. A great way to start a vacation! Though they said we couldn't board until 6pm, we were not the first on board at 4:45! With this being only our second cruise, both on RCI, I won't go into too much detail. Our last cruise in Nov. on Navigator was a completely different cruise. Then we had 3 kids with us, this time it was just the two of us. Plus, the Caribbean is way different than Canada in the fall! We had quite a few people complaining on the ship that it was "boring". We really didn't see it that way. It was much more relaxing than we expected since there really wasn't much to do on "sea days" (other than eating of course!). Because it was really chilly (46 degrees) outside, not many people were out doing things. The cool days didn't stop us from climbing the rock wall several times and just sitting in the sun with jackets on. With everything, it's what you make of it... We do think the food wasn't as good as on the Navigator cruise. The food in the Windjammer was usually just lukewarm. There really wasn't much of a selection there for breakfast and lunch. We always ate dinner in the dining room. The food was very good there. We had a lot of new "crew" on this trip. For several of the crew, this was their 2nd week. That explained a lot as to why they didn't seem as friendly and eager to go out of their way to see that you were satisfied. They were all just learning the ropes. Not an excuse for RCI, but it was ok with us. We've all been new at a job and just trying to get through the days. We were also sailing to a place that wasn't as popular and "fun" as the Caribbean. The ship was full with every cabin being sold out. There were over 3,000 passengers on board. Unfortunately for us, it seems the median age was probably 65-70. There were very few kids on board and that was ok since ours weren't with us. We did meet a few really nice couples about our age and we had a good time with them. One major complaint we had was with the smokers on board. We didn't notice it on our last cruise, probably because most could be outside, but the entire Promenade area always smelled of smoke. The Sports Bar and Pig and Whistle Pub were right across from each other and the entrance to the casino was right there too. All the smokers seemed to be hanging out there and there was no way to stop the smoke from drifting into the walkways. Had it been warmer outside, we probably wouldn't have noticed it. It's very obvious if you're a non-smoker and it made us not want to walk through that area. Unfortunately we couldn't watch any of the ALCS games because it was too smokey in that area. There were only about 6 tables in the walkway area of the Promenade that were for non-smokers. Everything else was full with smokers. I guess that's why we spent so much time outside! The shows were equally as good as on the first cruise. The Welcome Aboard show should not be missed. If you love Austin Powers and Jim Carrey, you'll love the cruise director, Richard Spacey. He's a combo of the two and can really make you laugh! Don't miss the Love and Marriage Show. It's very funny and you'll be amazed at what people will do and say... Enough about the ship, now on to the ports of call. We loved St. John, New Brunswick. A quaint, quiet, clean city with very friendly people. We had a nice welcome when we got off the ship. Every woman received a single rose and each man received a lapel pin with the St. John emblem on it. Not anything fancy, but a nice touch. We didn't do any excursions here, just wandered through the streets and to the Old City Market on our own. We watched the tide change at the inlet right next to the ship, rather than out on a boat. It changes 4ft. an hour! It was low tide when we got off the ship at 10am (ship's time) and by the time we boarded again around 3:00, it had almost gone on to high tide. The difference in low to high was 27ft! Pretty cool to watch. We ate lunch right across the street from the ship at a place called "Steamers". Get there early as it fills up quickly. We entered around 12 noon and by 1-1:30, there was a line out the door! We started the meal with shrimp cocktail that was out of this world. I had the fish and chips and my husband had the lobster roll. Both were awesome! On to Halifax. A bigger city, but still just as charming. We got off the ship and took a taxi ourselves into the city limits. It was $6.00 American each way. We visited the local shops and the crystal factory before heading back to the ship. Buckle up in the cabs! Our first driver was great, but the one on the way back to the ship thought he was at the Daytona 500. We thought we paid for an amusement park ride with him! If you like beer, you have to do the Historic Pub Tour in Halifax. We had the best time on this trip. We met outside the gangway for the 2 1/2 hr. tour by bus to 3 local pubs. Before boarding the bus, we all were given and asked to wear yellow "Sou'wester" hats. We boarded the bus, got some general instructions, and headed to the first pub. There we were met by a 3 person band (Mandolin, guitar, and fiddle). They sang for us while we enjoyed a local beer from the brewery next door. After 20 minutes, we were walked with a bagpiper to the next pub. There we were anointed with beer and sworn in to the official Nova Scotia So'wester club (we had to take an oath, but I don't remember it!). We enjoyed another beer or 2 and singing with the band and then off to the final pub with the band and bagpiper again. We ended up having so much fun with the tour guide that our tour lasted 3hrs. (he had us an extra 30 minutes!) We were back in plenty of time to board the ship. We all laughed all the way up the gangway. Picture 50 adults all walking around town wearing yellow Gorton's Fisherman hats! We were told by some other people on board that were on bus tours that we looked like a bunch of little ducks following the mother around the streets! Oh yeah, when you go to pubs in Nova Scotia, you call out "Sociable" and everyone else yells back "Sociable" and then you all take a drink. Kind of like Americans saying "Cheers"... It's quite funny how everyone stops what they are doing to yell back to you. And, just so you will be better prepared, remember that Canadian beer has a higher alcohol content than American beer. That could explain why we don't remember the oath!!! This was a great excursion because it let you cut loose and really have some good laughs with some new friends. All in all the trip was great. The few little things we noticed weren't really enough to make us want to try an new cruise line. We took into account the age of the ship, the newness of the crew and the time of the year and location of the ports. It was all that we wanted it to be: A break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and it was just that. We can't wait to sail again in Nov. 2005 to the Eastern Caribbean aboard the Navigator!!! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this itinerary. zip2harp@warwick.net Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
This is going to be a LONG review, and the reason is that we got so much from the Cruise Critic Member Reviews that we really want to share everything about the cruise that may be of interest to you. BAYONNE: If you're going to park ... Read More
This is going to be a LONG review, and the reason is that we got so much from the Cruise Critic Member Reviews that we really want to share everything about the cruise that may be of interest to you. BAYONNE: If you're going to park your car for the week - get in the right hand lane. The left TWO lanes are for dropping luggage and passengers. Stay right and you'll be directed into the parking lot. We pulled our bags the short distance to the terminal. The processing to board was easy and straight forward. Have your papers filled out before you arrive, keep passport in hand, and you'll be through it quick. You'll "pose" for the picture for your Seapass card. This makes sure that no one can use your card but you. Along with the card comes a cute little fold up map of the ship which has a pocket built in for your Seapass card. (I didn't figure that out till I saw someone else use it that way on the second day of the cruise.) This is really convenient. We were told to get to the pier at 6:00PM, but other cruise critics said to arrive early, and we did. Unfortunately, Voyager was late coming to port due to the hurricane, so although we arrived at 2:30, we didn't board till 4:45. Waiting in the embarkation area was the worst part of the whole cruise, and even that wasn't that bad. There was a band playing, food served, large screen TVs set to sports stations, and a "balloon animal clown" making time go a bit faster. We finally got onto a bus when our number was called, and transported to the ship. DEPARTURE: Whatever you do, don't miss the ship going under the Varrazanno Bridge. We went to deck 12, and the crowd there "ducked" in unison as we cheered the ship's "near miss" of the bridge. This happens at the same time as the Mardi Gras parade on the Promenade deck. We saw the last of the parade and were still very glad that we saw the bridge instead. THE SHIP: The ship is BEAUTIFUL. Period. Dot. I don't care what any negative review said, this ship is spotless and gorgeous. Every detail is perfect. It is HUGE though. We had been on two other cruises (Celebrity's Horizon and RCCL's Monarch), and this thing just dwarfs them. When we were taken to our floor as we boarded, we really didn't have a clue as to which end is which. Here's our suggestion: Look at the map next to each bank of elevators. The map points to which is the front and back of the ship. From there, you'll get an idea of which way to go. Remember - Food is aft (back of the ship) and Entertainment is forward. Food equals all three formal dining rooms, Portofino's, Johnney Rocket's, the Windjammer, and Island Grille. Entertainment is La Scala (the big theater), Studio B (the ice rink), Screening Room (movie theater) and Casino. If you want to really explore the ship, here's my suggestion: Go top down - twice. Go aft and take the elevator to the 14th floor. This is the Viking Crown (High Notes, and 19th Hole lounges) that is so distinctive on RCCL ships. From here use the stairways to explore the aft end of the ship floor by floor down to deck 3. Go to deck 5, and walk to Promenade to the front of the ship. Take the elevators to deck 12 and check the fitness center and spa, check out the pools on deck 11, and DON'T MISS the peek-a-boo bridge at the front of deck 11. This will allow you to peek into the ship's bridge. There is a great display here that tells you about all of the controls for the ship that you're seeing. Decks 10 to 6 don't have anything but staterooms, but start again on deck 5 to see Cleopatra's Needle, and go down from there. This is really stretching, but the only "negative" about this ship is that there were very few "nooks and crannies" where you could grab a book, sit and watch the ocean, and not be found. The public areas are very public, and there's no place to just "escape". Our cabin was a bit tight - but manageable. There's a safe in each room, enough storage for the two of us, and "minimal" living area. We take an inside cabin, but the Owner's Suite our friends had was pretty darn big. I'm VERY SENSITIVE to noise, and I'll tell you that these cabins were like being in a tomb. Very quiet. Wonderfully quiet. They are also PITCH BLACK when you shut the door. Our night light didn't fit into the space for a plug-in, so we left the light on in the bathroom and the bathroom door shut to give us our light. FOOD: We ate every meal in the formal dining room, with one slight exception. This is one of the reasons we like cruising. We get to have full service, and meet new people every day (breakfast and lunch, since the tables are not assigned for those meals). Is the food WONDERFUL? No. But it's pretty darn good. I'm a very picky eater, and I thought that there was great food at every meal. If you want to change your table assignment - listen up. There is a maitre d' on Deck 4 outside the formal restaurant the first day. This guy just took down our request and NEVER CALLED US BACK. We went again the following morning, and that maitre d' made the change on the spot. We were told by someone else that if they don't make the change immediately the first day, get pushy the next morning. There was a small line there, and EVERYONE WAS ACCOMMODATED EASILY. Don't wait in your room for a phone call that won't come!! BREAKFAST: The menu is the same every day. Just remember that the only place you'll get a fried egg is at the formal dining room. My only complaint here was that the food should be made to order at breakfast, and it isn't. My pancakes were made much earlier in the day and were dried out wherever they touched the warmer they were stored in. Fried eggs were undercooked, and not as hot as I wished. All in all, if you really want a great breakfast, I know some diners that would really outshine the restaurant. LUNCH: The menu varied a bit, but the two times we ate lunch there (on sea days only, eating in town when at port) the pasta station was open and great. I liked having the option of picking my pasta, sauce, and "add-ons". DINNERS: EXCELLENT. Each night's menu was varied and really great. Along with the five or so entrEes, are five alternatives, available every day. If you don't find something you like, there's something very wrong. I tried to order two dinners, and was told that they can't do that. What the waiter did though, was to serve a small side portion of the other meal the night I asked. (I couldn't decide between the Penne with Sausage and the Chicken Marsala. The waiter suggested the Chicken and brought a side of the Penne. This was EXACTLY the right thing for me.) Veal has been replaced by chicken dishes, it's true, but that's just fine with me. I had to send one meal back. I tried the Duck L'Orange but really wasn't enjoying it. It was quickly replaced with a steak, grilled to perfection. Breads and rolls were wonderful. Soups were superb (and that's how I rate a kitchen anyway). Desserts were TOP NOTCH. (and yes, you can order multiple of these without a problem). Coffee was "eh", but I'm pretty picky about my "Joe". MIDNIGHT BUFFET: We went to the "viewing" at 11:30pm. They continue to do a great job of this presentation. Unlike the "old days" when there was a different buffet and theme every night, this cruise had it once. Wednesday night. We couldn't stay up for the eating part - that was just too late (12:15am) for us old fogies. WINDJAMMER: Went there one morning after breakfast in the formal dining room because my wife wanted a banana. I decided to try a waffle - which was COLD. No place to sit. Loud. Pushy crowds. I wouldn't go back if ya paid me. JOHNNY ROCKETS: Went for a snack, and it seemed to be ok. Given fries and onion rings when you sit down. Paid extra for a shake and a root beer float that frankly weren't as good as the local shop back home. PORTOFINO'S: Didn't go there. Talked to people who had, and got mixed reviews. Negative review was that the portions were small, and not as good as their "local" Italian restaurant. There wasn't anything on the menu that really drew us in, so we passed. SHOWS and ENTERTAINMENT: The Welcome Aboard show is your first introduction to the Cruise Director, Richard. He's funny, and has a ton of energy. At first we thought he was a bit "over the top", but we really came to enjoy him as we went through the cruise. The second half of that "show" was a comedian whom we DID NOT LIKE. This is a guy from New York who was compelled to make fun of people. His show was not funny, and I can only imagine what his "ADULT SHOW" the next night entailed. Sorry, but I don't think that it's funny to make fun of someone from the South with stereotypes. This is our first night aboard, and guests should not be insulted. This is just me getting old and persnickety. The Vibe-Ology show was great. We enjoyed the live singing and dancing. The Ice Skating show IS A MUST. If you miss this, you've missed one of the highlights of the cruise. The show is unbelievable. What they can do on a small rink, with the ship moving, is just remarkable. They do a WONDERFUL job. The skaters are top shelf. The Platters (one original and three other great singers) performed on Wednesday, and they were great, singing their hits true to form. The Love and Marriage show is another NOT TO BE MISSED. It's RCCL's version of The Newlywed Show with three couples (one is truly a newlywed couple, one that's been married a while, and one that is the longest marriage that's willing to get on stage). It will be different every time, but the things people say - simply hilarious. GAMING: Bingo is $35 per card (six chances each game for 5 games). There is a jackpot which escalates through the sessions, with the last session having a pretty hefty payout (over $7,000 on our cruise). The casino is just fine. The staff is fun and courteous, the patrons are - well - just like any other casino. Some great and funny people, and some serious folk. My suggestion though is that if you're a serious gambler, this casino would not please you. A number of the patrons have not gambled before, and it's like being with "beginners". At blackjack the folks hit 15's against a dealer's 2. At craps, they took FOREVER between rolls as they asked questions and chatted. A guy I was next to said that in Vegas, he would have already left to get a drink. The blackjack tournament is tough. For $20 you get $500 in fake chips, and play 7 hands. The top money holders go on to the finals. If you didn't have $2,000 after your seven hands, you weren't playing in the finals. So, you have to bet heavy and hope for good cards. That being said, I was "out" in four hands - YIKES. PORTS OF CALL: We don't do the tours from the ship - never have. We're just too dang independent. Here is how we saw the ports. ST. JOHN: Great little town. The town never had a cruise ship until 2000 when one of the ships ran there to avoid a hurricane. The town has prospered ever since, and they REALLY are great to the cruising crowd. The Museum of New Brunswick at Market Square is a great place to spend an hour or so. Nice museum just across from the indoor visitor's information. The "Inner Connection" is a series of enclosed walkways that can take you to many of the high points in town; shopping, hotels, city hall, and the Old City Market (very nice indoor market). King's Square is a nice park on a sunny day. The horse-drawn trolley tours are a great way to see the city (we really enjoyed ours). We had lunch at STEAMERS which is on Water Street, just across from the dock. You can see the restaurant from the ship. The day we were there, a "paid karaoke" guy sang as we enjoyed lunch (Steamers - what else?). It couldn't have been better. HALIFAX: Nice boardwalk will take you along the piers. Your map may not show it, but the ship docks right on Lower Water Street. It is a steep climb up a couple of blocks from the ship to get to the Public Gardens (Beautiful flower gardens with a bagpiper out front), but well worth it. Top of our list of things to do was Alexander Keith's Brewery Tour. DON'T MISS THIS TOUR! The brewery is right on Lower Water Street, only a bock or so away from the ship. You are given a tour of the brewery by folks in "period costume of the late 1800's". They are superb. You'll get a couple of tastes of their beer (two large mugs of it) and be entertained by songs and games. Simply "a hoot". MISC: A few more things that don't fit anywhere else. THE PATCH: My wife used the scopolamine patch (Transderm Scop) to ward off the seasickness, and it worked very well. She is usually very susceptible to drugs, but the only side effect for her was a dry mouth. Some people say that you can cut them in half for "half the dose". Talked to my doctor about this. Not True. Once that membrane is broken, you'll get a spike of the drug early. Not what you want. CROWN & ANCHOR - As members, we got a nice little "coupon savings" book along with a small gift - nice. DVD: I LOVE to see how things are made. They sell a DVD of the design/building/testing of the Voyager. It is worth EVERY PENNY of the $29 they ask. It's a wonderful 2 and a half hour movie that shows you things you'll never see anywhere else about the ship, the crew's quarters, the systems. It's just great. DEPARTURE: We were assigned GREEN tags. We were the third group called to disembark (White and Lt. Blue were before us). The numbers on the tag tell you which area to find your bags back at the terminal building. We grabbed our bags and flew out the door. It couldn't have been easier. SUMMARY: We loved the cruise, and we'd do it again in a heartbeat. This is a great ship, backed by a great company. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at (take out the spaces around the @): jerry @ alloutcoaching.com. Happy Cruising!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
This was our first cruise, so I don't have anything to compare to, but this ship is really fabulous. The artwork is astounding. It's integrated into the entire ship. Even the staterooms have limited edition signed and numbered ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so I don't have anything to compare to, but this ship is really fabulous. The artwork is astounding. It's integrated into the entire ship. Even the staterooms have limited edition signed and numbered prints! We enjoyed walking around and exploring all the various public areas. As some have stated, you take your chances with the Canadian weather, but I think we lucked out. Partly cloudy the entire day in St. John. Rather than take one of the offered excursions, we opted to rent a car and drive to St. Martins. Just beyond St. Martins is the Bay of Fundy Parkway scenic drive. This is a gorgeous place with many observation areas and hiking trails. The scenery is breathtaking, and none of the shore excursions go there so it felt like we had the place to ourselves. It was great. (Note: You can rent a car for about $30/day US, and they pick you up right at the dock). Stopped at the restaurant in St. Martins for the greatest seafood chowder in the world. If you time it right, you can arrive as the tour busses are leaving. In Halifax, we rented a car again. The rental place is right behind the cruise terminal at the train station, which is an easy walk. It seemed like a few other cruisers had the same idea, because we noted many rental car stickers at Peggy's Cove. Another place to consider driving is Lunenberg, a World Heritage Site, but a longer trip. Peggy's Cove is a very quaint place with a unique rocky coastline. There were quite a few people here, since the lighthouse is supposedly the most photographed in all of Canada. On the way back in Halifax we stopped at the Citadel, the original British fort overlooking the city. Lots of cannons, huge stone walls, barracks and a gunpowder magazine, all restored to original 1850's condition. A few costumed guides add to the effect. Great for the history buff. In Halifax, there are lots of interesting alternatives, including duck boats that drive into the harbor, victorian public gardens, a museum with Titanic exhibits, a tall ship cruise, etc. I really get a kick out of some reviewers who don't venture beyond the dock, and complain that the port cities are boring! But hey, we're all different aren't we? Back to the ship, we did a few of our dinners in the formal dining room, and found the food to be quite good. All desserts were excellent. When you consider how many people are being fed, then you realize they are really doing an exceptional job here. You just can't expect the same food quality as you may get in a restaurant serving a lot less people, although some people seem to expect this type of thing. Get real. If you want top notch, go to Tavern on the Green in Central Park, or pay a little extra for Portofino's. We enjoyed the Island Grill. We liked the variety offered by the buffet. Again, the food was not "fabulous", (except the desserts), but it was quite good. Also, the view out the back of the ship was superb as the sun was setting. We echo what many others have said regarding the entertainment. It was very good. On the second night, we were fortunate enough to experience a concert by the original Drifters. They were absolutely great. As many have stated, the ice show is really fantastic. We thought the cruise director was a riot. We thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, and are already thinking about our next one. This is a great way to take a vacation. Considering it was our first experience, and we were not at all familiar with the terminal or any of the procedures, things went quite well. Is it perfect, of course not. But all things considered, it's alot of bang for the buck. Read Less
Sail Date September 2004
Introduction/Who we are: I must begin our review by thanking all the reviewers who came before us. Your suggestions really helped us!! After reading all the reviews, we felt very much at home once on the ship! You should know that all of ... Read More
Introduction/Who we are: I must begin our review by thanking all the reviewers who came before us. Your suggestions really helped us!! After reading all the reviews, we felt very much at home once on the ship! You should know that all of our comments and suggestions are just that—suggestions—the following is our opinion based upon our individual experience aboard the ship and clearly this will vary from person to person. We are a young couple from Maryland—Samantha (24) and Michael (28). Michael's dad is a travel agent so he has been on more than 25 cruises all over the world. This was my third cruise. Embarkation: After a leisurely four hour drive up from Maryland, we arrived at the Bayonne port around 2:30pm—correctly disregarding the insert that said we should arrive after 5pm. We had read about the chaos at the terminal so we were expecting the worst. This is definitely not what greeted us. We did wait a little bit in a line of cars, but quickly realized this was the line to drop passengers off. We drove to the RIGHT and quickly parked our car literally 50 feet from the entrance to the terminal. Had Michael pulled up to drop me and the luggage off, he would have had to circle back around and wait in the line again. We suggest you park and wheel your luggage over the short distance. The cost to park is $60 for the five day cruise. A porter greeted us immediately and took our bags. By this time it was 3:00pm. We snaked through empty security lines and went right to the front to get our SeaPass cards. Because we filled out our forms online beforehand, the whole process took less than 10 minutes. We waited in the terminal for a bit eating the hot dogs. A band played happy music and an entertainer walked around making balloon animals. Soon our number was called and we boarded the shuttle buses to the ship. We boarded around 4:00pm. We received our luggage after we came back from dinner so be prepared to have a change of clothes and your toiletries ready if you want to freshen up after a long day of travel. First things first: We checked out the cabin (more on this later) and headed straight to the maitre d' to change our table. We were booked with the late seating, but Claudio helped us find a table during the main seating. (Note: There was NO line since we were on the ship early, but we noticed a very long line later on that evening.) We headed to the specialty restaurant and made our reservation at Portofino's. The maitre d' there told us Italian night in the dining room was Wednesday so we thought this would be a good night to skip the dining room. We toured the ship (more on this later) and got settled before heading to dinner. The muster drill was around 8:30pm and was quick and painless. Our cabin: We were in Cabin 9595, an inside cabin. It was very clean and well lit. I'm sure the outside balcony cabins are very nice, but we knew we wouldn't be in the room much so we opted to spend our money elsewhere. There are not many drawers, but there is ample closet space and plenty of hangers. For all the women—let's just say I'm glad I brought my own hair dryer and didn't depend on the one in the cabin. The bed is two twin beds pushed together and it was not bad. I enjoyed being able to control the temperature in the room and I loved the innovative shower doors. Yes, it is a small bathroom, but it was much nicer than expected. Our stateroom attendants Josephine and Julius were great. On the first night I requested extra towels and they ended up giving us extra towels each day. Nice touch and much appreciated. I must again thank one reviewer for their air freshener suggestion. I bought one of those stand-alone balls for the bathroom and it was great. My only suggestion would be to bring a glow-in-the-dark alarm clock. The inside cabin gets completely dark without lights and there are no clocks! Ship: This ship is absolutely beautiful. It is very large and easily accommodates the more than 3,000 passengers and 1,200 crewmembers aboard. And yet, despite its size, it is incredibly easy to find your way around. I can understand why people on this site have commented on the waiting time for the elevators, but I think it probably depends on your tolerance level and your hurry! We never waited more than 2 or 3 minutes and usually opted for the stairs anyway. I can't speak on this point personally, but the ship appears to be very accessible for disabled passengers. Food: Main Dining Room: In two words: Understated elegance. This is the grandest place on the ship. I know everyone has a subjective opinion when it comes to food. Our opinion was that is was FAIR to GOOD and not great. There was only one night when we thought the food was "bad." However, the service and presentation MORE than made up for what was lacking in taste (as hard as that is to believe). Our waiter Robert was the friendliest person I've ever met. He remembered our names and made sure we got anything and everything we asked for. One night I wanted three appetizers and it was no problem. Our assistant waiter Stacy remembered I ordered iced tea and each night brought me an iced tea as soon as I sat down. Our tablemates were hilarious and made the experience a lot of fun. We actually looked forward to our dinner conversations all day. The bottom line is that we never walked away hungry (we were stuffed) and we didn't have to cook or clean. Perfect in my book. Portofino's: WORTH EVERY PENNY. I won't explain too much because I don't want to ruin it for you! I was very skeptical of spending $20 per person extra when we could eat in the dining room at no extra cost. However, the food is incredible, the service was impeccable, and the desserts were "to-die-for." It was a very romantic evening and truly a highlight of our cruise. Johnny Rockets: We went late the first night and didn't have to wait in line. We had lots of fun, good greasy onion rings, and a delicious vanilla milkshake. Good alternative if you want some comfort food. We did notice long lines during lunch on sea days. Windjammer/Island Grill: Unfortunately we must agree with some others on this site. The food wasn't very good and the selection wasn't expansive, but it does the trick of providing a quick, easy meal! We usually didn't have much time for lunch on the At Sea days (too many activities) so it was perfect for a quick salad and hot dog. Room service: We opted for room service for breakfast each day. You fill out the form and put it on your door the night before specifying what you want and what time you want it. Room service is provided at no extra charge and they were ALWAYS on time. Food was good; my only complaint was that it was cold—not just once, but every day. Other than that, it was a great luxury! Midnight/Gala buffet: Looked better than it tasted. Activities/Entertainment aboard ship: We literally had to run from one event to the other! There were so many things to do and not enough time to fit it all in! Some highlights: Ping Pong Tournament, Napkin Folding (Michael was a good sport with that one), Ice Skating, Miniature Golf, Bingo, Karaoke, Massage Class at the spa (worth the extra cost!). The Vibeology show was your typical cruise show. The dancers outperformed the singers. The Ice Skating show was better than expected. Some of the skaters had actually competed in the Olympics. Get your tickets early—this is an event not to miss! Thoroughly enjoyed cruise director Richard Spacey headlining the Love and Marriage Show (it's like the Newlywed game with 3 couples—one young, one middle age, one older). I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. We never even made it to the pool or hot tub, but they looked really nice. The Krooz Komics did a great job of entertaining while we waited for various shows to begin. At night they had an eclectic live music selection in a number of different venues, including Jazz in the High Notes Lounge, a very good garage band "The Stingrays" in Cleopatra's Needle, guitarist in the Pig and Whistle, and dance music in The Vault. Other activities we didn't have time to try: Casino, wine tasting, art auction, gym classes, rock climbing, trivia games, sports competitions, dance classes, the list goes on and on. Ports/Excursions: Saint John: The locals here were so welcoming! It is a quaint little town with a few shops. We spent the morning walking around and enjoying the sunny weather. Visited the City Market, King's Square, and had lunch at Keystone Kelly's by the water. Bought a few souvenirs, but there isn't much else so we boarded the ship after a few hours. Don't waste your money on a city tour excursion unless you are interested in learning more about the history of the city. Halifax: We walked along the Harborwalk and went in the little stores, watched the ships, saw glass blowing, and ate Lobster Rolls by the water. There is a nice museum for about $8 on the Harborwalk that has a permanent exhibit on the Titanic disaster but we did not have time to do it. In the afternoon we took the 3 ½ hour tour to Peggy's Cove. The bus ride there was about an hour and our tour guide spoke a lot about the history of Halifax. Once at the cove we took many pictures around the lighthouse and in the fishing village. Got to hold a lobster and enjoyed great homemade ice cream. The weather at both ports was gorgeous—in the 70s, sunny, no humidity or rain! We were very lucky! Disembarkation We had to be out of our room by 8:00am and they did not start letting people off the ship until 9:15am. We had exchanged our beige tags for yellow tags at Guest Relations (just ask and they'll give you an earlier color) so our color was called by 9:35am. We were off the ship and on the road by 10:00am. Can't complain, but this is a definite area for improvement. Tidbits/Suggestions: -Read the Cruise Compass they put in your cabin each night. It highlights the next day's schedule and will answer most, if not all, of your questions. -Be EARLY to everything. -The ship seems to be very family friendly. We rarely saw kids and there were a lot of them there of all ages! -Putting the tips on our SeaPass card made handing out gratuities a lot easier. Conclusion: This cruise was amazing. There was not one dull moment! Royal Caribbean lives up to its hype about "Gold Anchor Service." We will definitely cruise again on Royal Caribbean although I hope to go somewhere a little more exotic than Canada! If I could recommend one thing it would be to RELAX and enjoy yourself. Don't worry about all the little things and just have fun...it goes by way too quickly. Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
Without being too detailed, my family sailed from Cape Liberty on August 8, 2004 with expectations of at least decent service for our first time on RCCL. To put it bluntly, this would be our last time on this cruise line. Although ... Read More
Without being too detailed, my family sailed from Cape Liberty on August 8, 2004 with expectations of at least decent service for our first time on RCCL. To put it bluntly, this would be our last time on this cruise line. Although embarkation was excellent, it was all downhill from herein. I felt the cabins were not clean -- don't look behind the couch; balcony area was dirty; windows dirty; bathroom had cigarette burns on sink and toilet seat had lines on it that I had to have my husband check out before I would use it. Hallways were smokey and we followed a ball of string for three days before it was vacuumed. We were five people, ages 46, 40, 51, 54 and 75 -- it was my mother's 75th -- and our first night at dinner was total chaos. After our safety drill, we arrived at the dining room, only to find that we had different tables. The maitre d' was totally overwhelmed, people were yelling and finally we sat down at a table, which was not our table because that one was occupied. The next night our table was also occupied, so standing out in a hallway outside the Magic Flute, we finally were seated with another lovely family, albeit we would have liked our own table, and I'm sure they would have, too. We decided to stay there for the remainder. Our servers were good but overall service at lunch was atrocious. I felt the servers were inexperienced; i.e., one lunch the waiter wanted us to order our dessert first before the main meal--explanation was he had to go over to another table to help out--very weird. Entertainment was tried the first night. We had a warm-up act of two people eating bananas. My husband walked out at this point and left us to suffer through a review that was totally awful, had no scenery and no direction. We never returned to the theatre although our dining companions did enjoy some of the shows. The stretch class that we took had an instructor that had a personality that amounted to "I have to do this so I will." She helped no one and it was over in one-half hour. Trying to get keys to lockers was also tricky. You waited at floor 11; however, the keys were on floor 12; however, lockers were on floor 11 and numbers on the keys were blurred; my husband was given a female locker and my brother couldn't read his. Thank god my family has a sense of humor and all this became comedy fodder. However, to add salt to the wounds, we thought the number-coded disembarkation process was hopeful given other ships' processes, only to find that our orange code was the last to be called. We waited 2 1/2 hours to leave the ship with no one to direct us to the first deck. We were in an elevator that went to deck one only to open into a closed-down area. We were with other people and no one had a clue how to leave the ship. We were all disgusted and vowed to avoid RCCL at all costs and realize that this was like the equivalent to fast-food restaurant service. Sincerely, Debra Constante Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
I was the instructor for quilting on this cruise. My husband and daughter accompanied me. We had 20 quilters in our group plus us. I can't say enough good things about RCCL and this ship. Embarkation (even though ship was 2 hours ... Read More
I was the instructor for quilting on this cruise. My husband and daughter accompanied me. We had 20 quilters in our group plus us. I can't say enough good things about RCCL and this ship. Embarkation (even though ship was 2 hours late getting in) was easy and quick. Terminal was air conditioned and CLEAN. Parking not a problem. They had complementary snacks and a band for your wait to board. Class. The whole ship was beautiful and clean. Employees were extremely friendly, helpful and eager to please. Our restaurant servers were fantastic and very attentive. I have a digestive problem and have to eat my food plain. Not a problem getting the food prepared my way. No fuss whatsoever. The shows and activities were non-stop and fantastic (go see the ice show!). My daughter enjoyed all kids activities. Had no problems getting my margaritas made the way I asked the first time (see my review of the Norwegian Dawn). You had a choice of many different items in the shops to accommodate many budgets and tastes. We didn't do any of the organized shore excursions - a little pricey for me, we did get off the ship & walk around. We're beach kinda people, so its unfair to comment since these ports just weren't our thing. Debarkation was not a problem either. We liked this ship so much we booked our vacation cruise on it in 2005 and also are having our 2nd Quilting Cruise on board in August 2005 to Bermuda. RCCL (and this ship) is CLASS all the way. I didn't want to get off and can't wait to get back on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
If you enjoy being stuck on a boat with a bunch of nasty New Yorkers and treated like a moronic herd of cattle then this is the cruise for you. Enjoy Bingo for $35.00 a game complete with some Jamaican guy telling bad jokes, walk around in ... Read More
If you enjoy being stuck on a boat with a bunch of nasty New Yorkers and treated like a moronic herd of cattle then this is the cruise for you. Enjoy Bingo for $35.00 a game complete with some Jamaican guy telling bad jokes, walk around in the tacky "mall" on the ship and stand in line for a week old piece of pizza, guzzle down $10.00 drinks being served by an indifferent bar maid, slap down $36.00 (tip included) and drink sodas all week-remember that they are not included. Of course, the soda card is not good everywhere. You won't forget being greeted at the boring Port of St. John by huge tents filled with tourist garbage just screaming to take your money. Enjoy breakfast every morning in a crowded, noisy, greasy spoon of a restaurant. Let's see, $2.00 per video game, $44.00 for a nail job while being hassled by the bimbo to buy a $60.00 bottle of miracle cream that looks like the cream from the morning breakfast. The old nasty New Yorker women who couldn't smile if someone pinched their bum is always a nice treat to see at every turn. I particularly like the "free" ice cream nozzle spitting out some of the worst ice cream on the planet....and yes, next to it is a Ben and Jerry's (liberal pukes) stand which you can pay $6.00 for a scoop. Cold, lousy weather is a given and you can bet that one of the large hot tubs will be inoperable for the majority of the cruise. However, who wouldn't want to see a headline show with the likes of, of, well it's the guy that originally sang the "Happy Days" theme...wow, now that was special. Just Don't Do It! Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
Arrived at the ship about 7 PM by taxi. There was a slight line waiting to get on the buses to take us to check-in but all moved quickly. We were on the ship by 7:30 and immediately went to dinner in the dining room. First night dinner ... Read More
Arrived at the ship about 7 PM by taxi. There was a slight line waiting to get on the buses to take us to check-in but all moved quickly. We were on the ship by 7:30 and immediately went to dinner in the dining room. First night dinner we were seated at a table next to our regularly assigned as they weren't adhering to strict seating times. Food was good, we were served quickly. In fact, we were fairly pleased with the food all week including room service. The worst item I had was a hot dog in Windjammer at 4PM during tea. Our cabin was quite clean and cozy - it was a deluxe balcony though we found we didn't use the balcony much. I like to be out where the action is and when we wanted quiet, we found a cozy lounge to play cards in. My sons shared a Promenade Stateroom - they loved it. I suspect some of that was due to the view on the Promenade and the peep shows going on from windows across the way when people forgot to close their curtains while dressing. My 25 year old son found many friends, as the days went by I saw him less and less. My 10 year old spent quite a bit of time at the kids clubs and stayed until the last gun was fired - 1AM. He enjoyed Johnny Rockets but I didn't' get a chance to try it. We played miniature golf several times (had to wait awhile once to get clubs), in-lined skated, ice-skated, but never made it to the pool. The weather was pleasant - not hot, and one night was cold and foggy but other than that it was pretty darned nice. Saint John didn't offer a lot - we walked around town but after 2 hours decided to go back to the ship and partake of onboard activities. We enjoyed Halifax more - took the hop on hop off bus through town and spent a good part of the day at the Citadel as my younger son really enjoys military history. We enjoyed the shows, particularly the Knudson Brothers but couldn't get tickets to the ice show as I inquired too late (we were busy!!). Met lots of nice people, won a few dollars in the casino (and gave it back). Worse part of the cruise was embarkation. We were the last color called and by then there were few taxis to be found and we were headed into Manhattan for the weekend. Finally were able to get a taxi van that we shared with a couple for 25.00 each - made it into the city by 1PM. Next time I'll have a limo waiting for me. All in all, we had a great time - I don't think I'll do Canada again but will certainly cruse on Voyager class ships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
The 5-day sailing on the Voyager of the Seas from Bayonne, NJ, to St. John and Halifax was very enjoyable. The weather was chilly and extremely windy throughout the cruise (even in July), so this is not the right destination for someone ... Read More
The 5-day sailing on the Voyager of the Seas from Bayonne, NJ, to St. John and Halifax was very enjoyable. The weather was chilly and extremely windy throughout the cruise (even in July), so this is not the right destination for someone who really looks forward to lounging around by the pool and wearing light summer clothing. I travelled with my husband and this was our 3rd cruise. We combined a brief stay in New York City with the cruise and took a cab from Manhattan on the day of departure. First tip: please make sure you have driving directions with you to give to the cab driver as many NYC cabbies are not familiar with the Bayonne port. We had to give the cab driver turn-by-turn directions, but fortunately after the Holland Tunnel there were quite a few signs pointing to Cape Liberty and all in all the port was easy to find. The taxi ride from mid-town Manhattan (52nd street and Madison) took 50 minutes on a Sunday afternoon and cost $75 + tips. Embarkation was easy. We arrived at 4 p.m. (official boarding time was 6 p.m.) and found out that boarding had started already at 3 p.m. We were travelling in a junior suite and used the suite check-in desk. The line was long and it took us about 30 minutes just to check in, but then we were immediately on our way ready to board the shuttle bus to the ship. Tip #2: if you enjoy having your embarkation picture taken at the beginning of the cruise do not arrive before the official embarkation time. The photographers were not there at 4 p.m., so we missed out on this photo opportunity (of course there were numerous other photo ops throughout the cruise and we ended up spending a bundle in the photo shop!). The ship is a beauty and you can hardly believe that you are on the sea. The waters were a bit choppy on day 3 and 4, but otherwise it was smooth sailing most of the time. This ship is an incredible piece of engineering work and during your cruise you get to learn all about how it was built in Finland back in 1999. After 5 years the ship is starting to show a little bit of wear and tear but she is still in a great shape. The biggest problem was the elevators - they were always overly crowded and very slow. There simply were not enough elevators to handle 3,600+ passengers. One solution might be to program some elevators to hit even deck numbers only and the others odd deck numbers. We wondered if any of this had been considered or tested as a solution for the congestion problem. We enjoyed our stateroom on the 10th deck very much. It was quiet and not too close to or far from the elevators and stairs. The private balcony made the cruise very enjoyable and we usually slept with the balcony door open to listen to the waves. The junior suites have a spacious walk-in closet and lots of storage space. The maid stayed on top of everything and always addressed us by name, delighted us with elaborate towel animals and provided us with impeccable service (the best we have experienced so far on any cruise). The only thing disappointing about the room was water pressure in the shower - perhaps this was not a problem on the lower decks. I can't provide a first-hand account of the shows and entertainment options on the ship as our primary goal was just to rest and relax and not be on a schedule while on the cruise ship. We mostly walked around, took naps and enjoyed the food or played the slots in the casino. I exercised at the gym once and enjoyed it (although it was quite crowded on one of the "at sea" days). The professional photographers were taking portrait pictures every day before dinner and we took advantage of that - unfortunately each picture costs about $20, so this really adds up. The pictures make great souvenirs though and it's all part of the experience. We had dinner at the La Boheme every night and enjoyed the company of our 7 other table mates. We were pleased with the food and service in the main dining room, but 2 things left a lot to be desired in comparison with our previous cruises: a) Drink service was slow every night (it took 10-15 minutes just to get a glass of ice-tea) and b) on the first night there was nobody to show us to our table and we had to keep asking different waiters for directions (and we arrived right on time after the doors opened) and finally found our table. We were puzzled by the slowness of drink service throughout the cruise both in the main dining room and in the Windjammer buffet. In the Windjammer they ran out of coffee and ice tea several times while we were eating there and had no soft drinks or other beverages available for purchase (we finally saw them available for purchase towards the end of the cruise). In the main dining room I ordered ice tea every night and always had to wait for 10-15 minutes for it to arrive. On the 3rd night I ordered a coffee drink (listed on the dessert menu) to go with my dessert and had finished eating dessert by the time the drink finally arrived (I was not charged for the drink in this case). For some reason these glitches with beverage service persisted throughout the cruise. Formal night was on the 2nd day (Monday). There were many opportunities for formal portraits and even a picture with the captain. It was amazing how many people arrived in the main dining room wearing casual clothes and not formal and the dress code was not enforced. I have seen people get much more dressed up on the Caribbean cruises. The food quality and selection at the Windjammer was not the greatest, but we enjoyed the burgers and fries in the Island Grill very much (behind the Windjammer). Unfortunately burgers were not always available and the Island grill closed much earlier than the Windjammer in the afternoon. There was of course Johnny Rockets hamburgers and shakes, which we had twice during this cruise (no line on day 5 and a 15-minute wait on day 2). Then about the excursions: we took the Moosehead Brewery & city highlights tour in St. John and the Peggy's Cove tour in Halifax. The Moosehead Brewery tour was not really worth it as due to compliance with new security procedures visitors are not allowed into the bottling area and we only saw the gift shop and a brief video in a Moosehead conference room. Our recommendation would be to only take the city highlights tour and not pay extra for the brewery tour (they can't allow any tasting at the brewery either for liability reasons). There were some quaint shops in St. John and the locals were extremely friendly (at the port all ladies were greeted with a rose and the gents received a pin). In Halifax we took the Peggy's Cove tour, which took about 3.5 hrs. This small fishing village was very unique and we were happy with our tour choice. However, it was very windy and chilly out there and the area had too many tourists in it. We had 1 hr and 20 minutes to explore Peggy's Cove before heading back to Halifax. In the city of Halifax we walked around for about an hour before returning to the ship. Disembarkation was easy on the last day. We had made our own air arrangements and asked to be able to disembark among the first groups. We received lavender tags (group 2) and this color was called at around 9:30 a.m. (the ship arrived around 6:30 a.m.). We found our bags easily and hopped on one of the shuttle buses going to the Newark airport and were there by 10:30 a.m. This was a very smooth process. One more tip: passengers are asked to wait in the La Scala theater for their tag color to be called, but you can just as well wait e.g. in Studio B on deck 3 to be a bit closer to the gangway. All staterooms have to be vacated by 8 a.m., so unfortunately waiting in the privacy of your own room is not an option. All things considered we found this cruise a good value and a relaxing vacation. It gave us an opportunity to explore a corner of the world we otherwise might never travel to. Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ) is a new port for cruise lines and upon arrival we were welcomed by 1.5 hours of traffic backed up by cars, vans, taxis, and limos picking up guests from the previous cruise (it was 2pm - SIX hours after the ... Read More
Cape Liberty (Bayonne NJ) is a new port for cruise lines and upon arrival we were welcomed by 1.5 hours of traffic backed up by cars, vans, taxis, and limos picking up guests from the previous cruise (it was 2pm - SIX hours after the previous cruise had arrived). My sixth RCCL (I am now a Diamond member) cruise and having just gotten back from sister ship Adventure of the Seas in February, I was looking forward to another Eagle class ship experience and the convenience of leaving from NYC/NJ. My oceanview cabin on the third floor was as expected. The Canadian itinerary left much to be desired. Saint Johns was a small city with not much to do... we took an excursion to see the Reversing Falls which was interesting and ate at a lobster house outside of the entrance to the boat. Halifax, we arrived on a cold day so simply did some shopping and got back on the boat. I have heard people critique the food onboard RCCL and never agreed. After this cruise I must say that the food onboard was SUBSTANDARD. Lunch in the dining room never changed from day to day and only changed with a daily special soup, one entree or dessert. Windjammer buffet selections were MEAGER. The dining services staff constantly disappointed us by running out of Ginger Ale, Rack of Lamb and service that seemed rushed and impolite. The ship is beautiful with PLENTY of activities, shows, shopping and public spaces. I wouldn't recommend the Canada itinerary for adventure go-ers or sun worshippers and hopefully RCCL addresses the dining/food and service issues I experienced but overall if you want to experience a fabulous ship, try an Eagle class ship aboard RCCL! Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
My husband and I recently cruised on the Voyager of the Seas to New England/Cananda On July 25th. We are both Diamond members of the Crown and Anchor Club. As with most things in life, the trip had its highs and lows. The new port Cape ... Read More
My husband and I recently cruised on the Voyager of the Seas to New England/Cananda On July 25th. We are both Diamond members of the Crown and Anchor Club. As with most things in life, the trip had its highs and lows. The new port Cape Liberty is confusing to say the least. There are no signs to indicate which auto lines are for parking and which are for passenger unloading until you get right to the front of the lines. This caused frustration and a lot of angry horn honking from arriving passengers. Because of the late boarding (between 5:00 and 6:00 pm) the dining that night was chaotic. Finally an announcement came on instructing all passengers who wanted to eat early seating that evening to report to the dining room. Unfortunately the dining staff was unaware of this announcement. We did manage to eat at this time and then returned to our late seating for the rest of the cruise. After cruising with Royal Caribbean for many voyages I feel that the presentation of the food has become more important than the food taste and menu selections. Veal used to be on the first menu every cruise-now it is replaced with a chicken dish. Some how grilled pork chops, roast turkey, and meatloaf are not my idea of a cruise dinner menu selection. The menu on Italian night was certainly lacking in inspiration. We did eat at the Johnny Rockets restaurant and also the Portofino. The food and service at the Portofino Restaurant was excellent and worth the extra $20. per person. I understand though that this price has now risen to $25. Most passengers I spoke to who have cruised before felt that the buffets in the Windjammer could best be compared to cafeteria quality food. The Voyager does offer an enormous selection of things to do that should enable all passengers to find their own niche. The ice skating show was wonderful and very well received by the passengers. The Crown and Anchor staff did an excellent job in fully pampering the Diamond passengers. The Concierge lounge on deck 9 is a welcome perk. The gangway off the ship in ports such as Halifax needs a lot of improvement. Older passengers had a terrible time walking up the very steep and long gangway. Those people pushing wheel chairs up it had an difficult climb. The ship carries a lot of older passengers and a better way for reboarding must be found!!! The cruise was enjoyable but I expect better than mediocre food on a Royal Caribbean cruise. I don't equate quantity with quality. Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
I am going to start off by saying this was the most pleasant cruise that I have had as far as how the cruise began and ended. Embarkation Day: This was amazing. I have read reviews and been told that this new port was a nightmare. I ... Read More
I am going to start off by saying this was the most pleasant cruise that I have had as far as how the cruise began and ended. Embarkation Day: This was amazing. I have read reviews and been told that this new port was a nightmare. I found this to be totally the opposite. We arrived at the pier at 4:00pm and were allowed to board right away. We went to the Suite and Crown and Anchor check in desk and were checked in and on the shuttle to the ship in 10 minutes. The whole process only took 15 minutes and we were in our cabin. Everyone else that I had spoke with as well had the same amazing experience. The porters were really nice and took our luggage right when we got out of the car and our luggage was at our cabin the next hour as well. This first night was kinda strange being that the ship didn't leave until 10:00pm but it seemed to be ok and everyone stayed up really late the first night, which is normally not the case being that is a travel day. Cabin: We were in a Junior Suite cabin 1352. We always get the JS on our cruises because of the large walk-in closet. I was not that happy with the cabin this time. The bed was awful and our cabin attendant was not good. She was very pushy and this is the first time I have had a bad attendant. I am not used to that on RCCL. The cabin just seemed old and like it really hadn't been cleaned properly. I guess I could be being a little harsh being that my last cruise was on the Mariner and it was a brand new ship, but the Voyager just got out of dry dock and it was supposed to be refurbished. Didn't look like it to me. Food: This is the same for me on all the ships that RCCL has. I think the food is ok, not by any means great. The windjammer is a bunch of leftovers from the dining room. Johnny Rocket's is just greasy hamburgers that sit in hot water. One of my biggest complaints about the food experience is the Soda Package card. They say you can only get fountain soda with this package, and all Johnny Rocket's serves is Fountain Soda but you can not use your card in there. You have to pay for soda. That was a disappointment. The promenade food was great. I love the soft serve ice cream all day that you can get. Adventure Ocean: This is the kids program and all I can say about this is that it is the best out there. Our kids had a ball and they never got bored!!! St. Johns: The weather here was terrible. It was so foggy you couldn't see anything. What you could see what not worth seeing. When you go to St. Johns you must have a lobster meal at Steamer's which is right off the ship. Really cheap as well for a dinner for 2. You must arrive early because the wait is unreal. The people in St. John are wonderful. You won't meet nicer people. Halifax: There is nothing I can say bad about this port. I fell totally 100% in love with Halifax. The weather was gorgeous and we did the Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour. The people here are even nicer the St. John and I didn't think that was possible. I am even considering moving to Halifax. I must of really loved it. The shopping is great and there is a lot to do at this port. Sea Days: The five night cruise didn't offer a great deal of different activities. They had a lot of Bingo and activities that required spending more money. That was also a little disappointing. The shows were ok. I didn't go to the ice skating show, but they said it was great. The comedy was amazing. Debarkation Day: I had heard this was total chaos. I think they have figured it out, because I was off the ship and home which is an hour and half away by 11:30am. Our color was called , we went through customs and grabbed our luggage which was sitting very nice waiting for us. We then got a porter and went right out to find our ride waiting for us. As for getting on and off the ship this was the best port I have ever experienced!!!!! Over all the cruise was a very nice trip and I would recommend and do it all over again. I am looking to book another Canada/New England Cruise for the fall. I hope this review helps. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Port Liberty in New Jersey is a sprawling former military port that has plenty of parking. Arrival, which is spread out over many hours, is convenient, but the traffic jam at departure, for both passenger vehicles and limos, can be ... Read More
Port Liberty in New Jersey is a sprawling former military port that has plenty of parking. Arrival, which is spread out over many hours, is convenient, but the traffic jam at departure, for both passenger vehicles and limos, can be frustrating. Something should be done to expand the area used as a loading zone. We arrived about three hours before departure, and check-in was a breeze. Sandwiches and soda were served in the pier waiting area, although on a Voyager of the Seas (VotS) cruise a month later this amenity had disappeared. Our family group of six people (husband, wife, three kids (16,14,9) & grandma) had two adjoining mid-price balcony cabins. VotS is a fairly new ship, so everything on the ship seemed to be in good condition. The cabins were attractive, spacious, and the air-conditioning, which was not over-taxed on a Canadian cruise, worked well. Television programming was extremely limited; they should invest $500 on a few dvd players and some videos. The TV does not have a/v inputs. The cabin steward was cheerful and efficient, as was just about every crew member that I met. The main dining rooms are huge and seem to be adequately staffed. Service was quick and our wait staff was accommodating and upbeat. Food was very good. The pasta bar at lunch, where two chefs made pasta dishes with a wide variety of ingredients, was excellent. The midnight buffet is not worth the wait, or loss of beauty sleep. We used the cafeteria-style dining room for breakfast, and it was very good. Oddly, grandma went on a longer VotS cruise to the Caribbean just a month later and felt that the food had gone downhill. And, there was no pasta bar at lunch! The entertainment in the theater is great, comparable to mid-level Vegas shows. The recreational facilities are outstanding. The shopping arcade area is very impressive. The library, casino, and discos are all first-rate. Kids programs are good, although it's tough to engage teenagers. The shore excursions are extensive, although, as usual, it's always cheaper to book them on your own, if possible. The excursion desk has limited hours, which can lead to long lines. The general guest services desk, however, works well. A wonderful ship, good crew, enjoyable food, with outstanding entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Just got back from the 5 day VOS cruise out of NJ. Embarkation onto the ship took less than 10 minutes. We thought that was pretty amazing considering the amount of passengers sailing. We left Providence at 1:30 and got to the ship at 6:00 ... Read More
Just got back from the 5 day VOS cruise out of NJ. Embarkation onto the ship took less than 10 minutes. We thought that was pretty amazing considering the amount of passengers sailing. We left Providence at 1:30 and got to the ship at 6:00 and were in our cabin by 6:15. We had an outside cabin on deck 3 that was very spacious. The only complaint we have is that the beds were extremely uncomfortable. The food in the main dining room and Windjammer/Island Grill was not hot, just room temperature. The quality was similar to any decent restaurant; nothing spectacular. The entertainment on the ship was EXCELLENT!!!! The RCL singers/dancers and the ice skating show are both not to be missed. A word of advice - get there early when they're handing out tickets to the ice show. The cruise director James Andrews is quite funny and does have a great sense of Australian humor. The two ports of call - Halifax and St. John's were all right. You never get the feeling that you left the USA. Shopping at St. John's is much better than in Halifax. Overall, we had a great time on the cruise and are planning the 9 day cruise for next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Don't let the Embarkation and Destination confuse you. We sailed out of Bayonne, NJ and went to St. Johns & Halifax. The new RCCL terminal was very nice, however, the traffic pattern is a slight problem. First you go around one of ... Read More
Don't let the Embarkation and Destination confuse you. We sailed out of Bayonne, NJ and went to St. Johns & Halifax. The new RCCL terminal was very nice, however, the traffic pattern is a slight problem. First you go around one of the Old Warehouses, following the line of cars. Get to the Cruise terminal and drop off your luggage and passengers, I sailed with my wife and granddaughter. The you go back around the warehouse and get into a line again to enter the parking lot. Cost for parking is $60.00, cash or credit card. In the terminal you enter a line pertaining to the desk you were on. An agent takes all your information gives you your SeaPass Card and directs you to a line around the wall to have your picture taken. The picture is placed on a magnetic strip along with other information. Then off to the waiting shuttle busses. The trip to the ship is short. Once onboard we went to our room to drop off our handbags and get situated. Met our Room Steward Mac, who instructed us on various things in the room. Mac was extremely nice and helpful. Never had any problems with the room. Unfortunately after several hours 2 of our bags never showed up. My wife took a walk down the hallway and found them, along with many others still sitting in the Service Area. After getting them we were extremely relieved. The LifeBoat Drill was held at 8:30pm. Strange but not just prior to sailing. The ship, WOW. It is huge. We, I think, were able to see everything. The food, extremely good. Our table, 549, was in the Magic Flute on the top level of three floors. Our Waiter Mary and Asst Waiter Alfred were both extremely helpful and courteous. The food in Johnny Rockets was also extremely good, Milk Shakes to kill for. Service, as usual great. As soon as we were seated our server brought us 3 bowls. One-French Fries - one-Fried Onion Rings - one Ranch Dressing for Dipping and a Final Plate with a Happy Face made from Ketchup. The Windjammer buffet was adequate. If you wanted Eggs made to order you had to go to the Island Grill. Otherwise take the omelets or scrambled eggs. The shows were all great, plenty of entertainment. Ice Show also of equal or better quality. I have to salute the Ice Performers. Toward the end of the show I noticed the Ice was becoming chipped and had many ruts. But that never stopped them. They were great. St Johns was very nice. Nothing to rave about. We didn't take any tours but opted to walk through the town. Halifax is a very nice place also for a visit. We opted for a rental car and drove to Peggy's Cove and the SwissAir 111 Monument. Peggy's Cove was extremely crowded with tour buses, normal traffic. Our granddaughter loved climbing the rocks in the area and taking pictures. Back in Halifax we walked the Boardwalk up toward the ferry terminal and took in the scenery and various shops along the way. Both the terminals (St. Johns, Halifax) were very nice. When we arrived in Halifax we were greeted by the Town Crier and a Bag Pipe Band. When we were leaving St Johns we were sent off by the music of a long Piper. Both St Johns and Halifax had local crafts people there selling their wares. Tours were there to be had. Unfortunately our bathing suits stayed in our bags. Cool wasn't the word. It was COLD. As far as my wife and I were concerned. We had to purchase heavier coats. We took sweat shirts but these proved to be too light. Our granddaughter did take advantage of the Hot Tubs on several occasions. OF course at 14 very little bothers her. Back in Bayonne the disembarkation was, NORMAL. Our tags were Purple and as would have it we were DEAD LAST to be called. After retrieving our bags we walked to our car and off to the Real World. I hope this helps with any questions some might have. Oh yeah, Adults are required to have Picture ID's with them. Do yourself a favor and have ALL Cruisers, no matter how old (especially teenagers) with Picture ID's. We had a slight problem, along with some others, in Halifax. If your youngster doesn't have a picture ID you're directed to another line to have them manually checked by a local Police Officer. ENJOY Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
We were leaving from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ, and after all that we had read online we were quite anxious. It was our 35th anniversary and we were taking our adult children who hadn't been on a cruise since they were little. ... Read More
We were leaving from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ, and after all that we had read online we were quite anxious. It was our 35th anniversary and we were taking our adult children who hadn't been on a cruise since they were little. Anxious wasn't the word....VERY WORRIED was what we actually were. Hadn't really read anything positive about either Voyager of the Seas OR Bayonne. Well guess what...EVERYTHING WE HAD READ ONLINE WAS WRONG!!! First, we had been told (online) that we would not be allowed to board before 6:00...WRONG...(one man said he waited on line from 5:00 and didn't get to his room before 8:00)..we arrived at the pier at 4:00 and were in our room by 4:30....everything about the embarkment was orderly and speedy...maybe it just took them a while to get things going at Bayonne..but guess what...they're ready! Now, for the rest of the ship, it was beautiful...we were told the food was fair to mediocre...we are a family of good eaters, and particular ones at that...we all found the food to be from good to better...and the service was excellent. Now, about the special restaurant onboard...Portofino's...yes, there is an additional charge of $20 per person....DEFINITELY WORTH EVERY CENT. We are from New York City and have been too many excellent restaurants....Le Cirque...Lutece...let me tell you, the six of us felt that Portofino's was possibly one of the BEST restaurants we have ever been to.....food was beyond excellent, and the service was such that we felt we had to speak to the head waiter to complement our waiter....the only word to use is incredible!! If possible, don't miss this wonderful place. All in all we had a marvelous time...everyone onboard was more than accommodating and we will definitely take another trip on Voyager!! (Only problem we had was the weather, but that's Canada!!) Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Five-day cruise to Canada on Voyager of the Seas was a nice change of pace and a great escape from our home in sunny Florida. All previously reported problems with embarkation have been corrected. Our boarding (at 6 p.m.) was easy as pie, ... Read More
Five-day cruise to Canada on Voyager of the Seas was a nice change of pace and a great escape from our home in sunny Florida. All previously reported problems with embarkation have been corrected. Our boarding (at 6 p.m.) was easy as pie, fast, uneventful, and much better than our experience in Miami when we went on Explorer of the Seas. In Bayonne, there's a short shuttle bus from the check-in terminal to the ship. The cruise line staff actually handed out ham or turkey sandwiches for the short bus ride! We booked last minute (two adults, one child-age 12), and were unable to switch from our assigned second seating dining to first-seating. If you have kids who want to join the Adventure Ocean kid's program, try to book early and get first-seating dining. (maitre 'D said that the demand for dining room seating on longer cruises is just the opposite, with second sitting far more popular on the alternate 9-day cruises.) Our 12-year-old was disappointed in the second-seating dining because it cut into her social life! Our sailing on June 27 was completely sold out, and about 100 extra people had already been squeezed into the first-seating dining room. I met with the maitre 'D twice but had no luck getting the seating time changed. I did enjoy our table mates and table position by a window. Service and food were top-notch. There were two empty place settings at our table--probably people who had better luck moving to first seating! We expected most passengers to be from the New York metropolitan area, but were surprised to meet people from all over the U.S. I highly recommend having a dinner in Portofino. The desserts there were extraordinary. Children are supposed to be 13 to dine there, but I saw several kids who looked younger. We were also a bit unsure about whether to tip the server in addition to the per person "service" fee. We asked the server, and found that most people do add a tip! We also tried Johnny Rockets for a quick lunch at the counter. The server did not get our order correct, and the food was greasy. It was so disappointing that my husband left for another (and better) lunch at the Windjammer. The ports were great, picturesque, and easily walkable. Everyone we encountered was pleasant and friendly. We love to shop and surprisingly found quite a lot to buy! We did not take any organized tours. We took a taxi to see the famous reversing falls in St. John, and rode a harbor hopper "frog" boat (with tickets purchased about an hour in advance) for a one-hour tour of Halifax. Taxis in St. John are readily available at the dock and can be hired for several hours (or less than one hour, in our case). American money is accepted everywhere--no need to change American dollars into Canadian dollars. My husband enjoyed a nice lobster lunch at Murphy's on the waterfront in Halifax. (Lobster is not served on the 5-day Canada cruises.) If you have young kids, check out the adorable Theodore tugboat which offers boat rides. For me, the highlight of the cruise was a performance by The Platters (one original and several replacements). It was the best cruise ship show I have ever seen (and I've been on 12 cruises). A true class-act. The next day, the group signed autographs, posed for pictures, and sold CDs. Also loved the Ice Jammin' show. There were two production shows with the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers. I love Broadway musicals but was disappointed by the noisy songs selected for these shows. Would have liked more sweet ballads! The weather on the sea days was cool, but plenty of people were in the pools (and the hot tubs were crowded). My husband paid $70 so he could use his computer with internet in our balcony stateroom. The internet connection was slow and unavailable at times. Not sure it was worth $70 for 5 days. Nights were pea-soup foggy--we heard the ship's fog horn repeatedly--but the weather in the ports was quite pleasant with only a brief bit of rain in St. John. Scheduling of activities on the ship could be improved. By the time I waited in the long line for ice show tickets, I missed part of the port orientation tour talk. (There are actually plenty of ice show tickets, but it's not worth the risk of missing out on tickets or getting an undesirable ice show time.) Our table mates said the art auction finale overlapped with the final big-jackpot bingo. Disembarkation was very easy and well-organized. We were back at Grandma's house in northern New Jersey by 10:15 a.m.! Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Left out of Bayonne, NJ. Since this was one of it's earlier runs, they still need to work on a few things. This was our first cruise, so the slight embarking problems weren't a problem for us. The ship was huge. However, ... Read More
Left out of Bayonne, NJ. Since this was one of it's earlier runs, they still need to work on a few things. This was our first cruise, so the slight embarking problems weren't a problem for us. The ship was huge. However, getting around was pretty easy if you use your head and know the layout of the ship. On average, the food was very good. Main Dining: The tenderloin was excellent. The leg of lamb and the mahi mahi was good. My wife and tablemates thought that the turkey dinner was tasteless, despite the fact that it was juicy. Appetizers were on the small side. The desserts were very good. I pigged out on the deserts because I normally don't eat deserts. Our servers were pretty good, could've been better. Tablemates were very nice. Windjammer: We thought the Windjammer was better than what we had previously heard. Promenade Cafe: Good to grab something in a pinch. Coffee was so-so. There didn't seem to be many activities on the most part. BINGO seemed to be a big favorite. My wife played every session. I napped when she played. I love vacations for napping because I never nap at home, always something to do. Horse Racing was fun to bet on and watch. There was a cooking demonstration which I had wanted to check out, but they were having problems so we left. They had a Digital Camera demo, but they had problems from what I heard. Shows: We went to the Ice Jammin' show. Wife liked it and I didn't care for it. However, I give the skaters tons of credit because the ice surface is very small and it's tough for them to hit their marks. We went to the Love & Marriage show, very enjoyable. Wife went to a Song & Dance show, which she enjoyed. I watched the Stanley Cup game. We didn't see any of the comedians. Ports: St. John and Halifax. We didn't do any shore excursions. We just wanted to check out the cities and enjoy some good seafood. Not much to do on your own in the cities. We walked around and did some shopping. We ate at Steamers in St. John (right next to where you get off the ship), it was very good. Ate at The Salty dog in Halifax, again another good seafood meal for lunch. We didn't go to many of the bars on the ship. Shopping on board was OK. Our room was nice enough. We had a balcony, a must on future cruises. We saw some whales from the balcony. Balcony made the room feel bigger. Weather: Cold, windy and foggy. It was great. I love the cold weather. It was great being cool while walking around the port cities. Still wore my shorts because I had packed mostly shorts. Got off the ship around 9:45 and was home by 10:30. Are we hooked on cruising? Not yet, but we are looking forward to planning another one soon. 8/10. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
The first trip to the Maritimes, but it seemed to be a first for so many things for the staff. Bayonne NJ was total confusion. Many of the clerks didn't know how to process the cruisers. The baggage handler area was like a free for ... Read More
The first trip to the Maritimes, but it seemed to be a first for so many things for the staff. Bayonne NJ was total confusion. Many of the clerks didn't know how to process the cruisers. The baggage handler area was like a free for all. The handlers yelled, pushed and fought amongst themselves. Bayonne was probably the worst embarkation we've ever experienced. For anybody flying into JFK like we did RCL has no arrangements for any kind of shuttles. You're ON YOUR OWN - beware. Our cab from a Manhattan hotel to the port cost us $124.00 (62.00 each way per hour for the cab). It was the best deal we could find. Getting off the ship was just as bad. RCL would not change our colored tags - but assured us we should be off by 10:00 latest. We got off after 11:00, and after the bus trip to the terminal and another free for all for a cab we hit the road at 12:00 to JFK. We managed to get a van to share with 5 others, so it was only $20.00 per head. Not impressed. The cruise itself was fine. The weather was foggy and cold, but typical for the time of year and place. You couldn't really use the decks and chairs. Even the solarium was cold. St. John was a terrible day, but we were greeted with long stemmed roses. Didn't do any excursions, but the shopping was great. Halifax - the weather was great. Lots to see and do. There's a Titanic exhibit at the Maritime museum, a crystal factory and store, and great brewery with tour. Great deals and lots to buy/see. The best part of all is the people. Maritimers are super friendly and helpful. They even stop their cars to let you cross the street. Total opposite of New York! A good cruise, but it would be great in the summer. P.S. saw whales at dinner last night! Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
Voyager of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 4.5 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates N/A 4.2

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