14 Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas Singles Cruise Reviews

Great staff, great ship, awesome friends, terrific cabin...fantastic! That was a wicked week, and it all started with the staff onboard, nothing was ever a hassle. Our servers in the MDR were some of the best I have ever encountered, ... Read More
Great staff, great ship, awesome friends, terrific cabin...fantastic! That was a wicked week, and it all started with the staff onboard, nothing was ever a hassle. Our servers in the MDR were some of the best I have ever encountered, met + exceeded all expectations. Voyager is due for a refurb later this year, wouldn't think it needs (only a couple of things here & there) but really the ship is in great condition...the refurb will be insane! Did a splurge for this cruise and got a Junior Suite on Deck10, right under the Windjammer...but really had no idea at all, didn't hear a thing and was able to sleep in until late :) Clean cabin, spacious, a good escape when needed. Picked this cruise for the range of ports and they didn't disappoint, Langkawi always a favourite, but Phuket was just too much fun and the food! In short loved it, pretty obvious I suppose...but as always go on with the right attitude and have the vacation you deserve :D Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Heard there were a lot of fights and many passengers 'kicked off' but we didnt see anything. I have cruised with RCL twice now on Voyager and this time around the food, service and overall experience has greatly improved. Our ... Read More
Heard there were a lot of fights and many passengers 'kicked off' but we didnt see anything. I have cruised with RCL twice now on Voyager and this time around the food, service and overall experience has greatly improved. Our dining room waiters and cabin steward were the highlight of the crew- absolutely awesome. A lot of the shows were not my cup of tea- but hats off to the dancers and singers- awesome voices and moves. Ice skate shows amazing. A lot of activities not my thing but there's heaps to choose from to keep you busy, or just relax- which is what I prefer. Ports of call more than most cruises I have been on, so a good variety of things to do ashore except Mare. Unfortunately due to the weather (and hoard of jelly fish) it wasn't safe to do anything, but mare has definitely upgraded the dock and market, so great to see. Have booked Ovation of the seas for Jan 2019, so excited to see all the extra activities onboard. Crew very attentitive in all areas. Promenade cabin 6305 in a perfect spot too. Got a great price. Booked all tours directly with locals before boarding- all ships are too expensive! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
First time in a Royal Caribbean ship I was impressed never a dull moment always something to do or not if that was your choosing. The staff where always very accommodating and generally where having as much fun as the passengers. ... Read More
First time in a Royal Caribbean ship I was impressed never a dull moment always something to do or not if that was your choosing. The staff where always very accommodating and generally where having as much fun as the passengers. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth especially being able to board earlier than expected having flown in overnight. The entertainment on board was fairly good, excellent variety available. The small bar groups and individuals where brilliant but the shows in the main theatre where a little disappointing. Ice skating impressive! The adult pool area should though be allocated to people over the age of 21, as I did make it very difficult to enjoy your time there as there was a lot of young adults between 16 - 21 taking all the seating whilst being in the pool the whole of the day. In general the overall experience was pretty good and would definitely cruise again with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I travelled on this 9 night sailing on board Voyager of the Seas from/to Sydney, visiting Lifou, New Caledonia; Port Vila, Vanuatu; Mystery Island, Vanuatu & Noumea, New Caledonia, with a group of other singles. Overall I had a great ... Read More
I travelled on this 9 night sailing on board Voyager of the Seas from/to Sydney, visiting Lifou, New Caledonia; Port Vila, Vanuatu; Mystery Island, Vanuatu & Noumea, New Caledonia, with a group of other singles. Overall I had a great time and made some great new friendships. This was my sixth cruise, and I do believe there is a huge amount to like about a cruise holiday. Unfortunately, it's often an expensive option for singles/solos as there is usually a significant single supplement. This was my first time on a Royal Caribbean ship, and while there were many great things, there were quite a few cons as well. Pros: * The ship is a really great size - not too small, and not too big. It was pretty clean. * The crew were almost universally friendly and efficient. There was the odd exception but that can happen on any cruise line or ship. * The food was very good and plentiful. The variety was good. * There were lots of activities on the sea days, and the activities staff were really good. * The pool area is very nice (although showing its age a little) * The complaint that I made in the mid-cruise survey about slow service in the Main Dining Room was responded to very well. It's the first time I have had a manager call me in my stateroom to discuss the matter with me. * The cabin I had (Large Oceanview) was very comfortable with a larger than normal wardrobe area. Cons: THE BIG ONE FOR ME: * Every other cruise line that has ships based in Australia for the Southern Hemisphere summer uses Australian dollars as the currency on board, while they are sailing out of Australia. Having USD as the currency on board RC ships is a pain for antipodean cruisers. * Also particularly disappointing was the fact that there was no liquid soap or shampoo provided. Only small bars of soap. This is disappointing and not up to the level of competitor cruise lines. * There weren't a few of the niceties, like a chocolate on the pillow. * The theatre entertainment was good, but not outstanding. I think I have seen better on Carnival's Australia-based ships, and on Princess. * It's difficult to avoid walking through the smokers area on the main pool deck, unless you restrict yourself to one side. * Check-in in Sydney at around 2.30pm was pretty slow with long queues. * There weren't enough tables at the busy times in the buffet. * I was surprised that the buffet was not open 24 hours. Instead the Cafe Promenade was the 24 hour option, with significantly less options. * You could only get individual slices of two varieties of pizza (cheese or pepperoni). Other ships that I have been on (including Carnival Australia's ships, which is Royal Caribbean's biggest competitor for out-of-Sydney cruises) have full pizzerias with more options and the ability to get a whole pizza. * I was disappointed by the towel animals compared to Carnival Australia. The 'animals' that I got on Carnival Australia were quite a lot better. * The colour scheme in the hallways is a bit of a shock at first. It's a pretty unpleasant pink. * The range of non-alcoholic cocktails was a bit limited. * The burger joint is not free, unlike Carnival Legend/Spirit. * For the money paid, the 'Mystery Dinner Theater' was disappointing. The food was patchy. * The prices for snacks, sunscreen, shampoo etc. in the retail shop were extortionate. The ports: Lifou (tender port) - This was my second time to this port, and I think I'm done here. The beach is pleasant, and they have a cultural performance several times during the day. There is an ok cafe. If you're not a beach person, you really do need to do a tour here, whether through the ship or from local operators (although the ship has more choices). The first time I visited this port I did the Luecila Beach & Drive tour and loved it. Luecila Beach is beautiful and great for swimming, as it's very sandy under foot. Port Vila (docked port) - This was a new port for me. I had a great day out with Atmosphere Tours. The Blue Lagoon is very nice, and I was pleasantly surprised that the turtle sanctuary wasn't as bad as I expected. This is also a fantastic port in which to get cheap duty free alcohol if you live in Australia. I feel like I've got more to explore here. The city wasn't quite as developed as I expected, but it's a nice enough place. Mystery Island (tender port) - Wow! If you're a beach person, this is paradise. We were there on a beautiful cloudless day, and the white sand beaches were amazing. Those who went snorkeling and paddle boarding had a ball. Nobody lives on the island - instead the locals from the nearby larger island sail across every time a cruise ship calls. A few tips for people not confident in the water - there is a glass bottom boat that you can book on the island that is cheaper than the one onboard the ship. Doing a tour across to the local village on the larger island is also a great activity, if you want to experience real life, with no electricity. One other important note - the food offerings on Mystery Island are very poor. You might want to go back to the ship for lunch and then come back to the island. Noumea (docked port) - Noumea is an interesting hodge podge. Most ships dock at the cargo port, and you have to board buses to the Cruise Terminal Building at the bottom of town. There are some nice islands in the harbour for swimming, and even swimming at the main Anse Vata beach is pleasant enough. (Although be aware that the bottom of the sea is not smooth.) The city is very French, and that can either appeal or detract. French people are not known for being particularly friendly to tourists. Getting the Tchou Tchou train or the competitor Lyvai Green Train are good options. Overall, I think Carnival Australia has the edge over Royal Caribbean for cruises out of Sydney. (I didn't expect this to be the case, but I've been on both, and that's my view). The exception is probably Ovation of the Seas which I haven't had a chance to sail on yet. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Wanted to try a larger ship as travelled many times on RCL. Well despite the negativity I have read, it was not applicable. Fabulous ship, excellent memories made with lots of new and exciting friendships which I am certain will blossom ... Read More
Wanted to try a larger ship as travelled many times on RCL. Well despite the negativity I have read, it was not applicable. Fabulous ship, excellent memories made with lots of new and exciting friendships which I am certain will blossom beyond this sailing. Embarkation – Quick speedy and efficient. Porters were waiting on the right side for bag drop off, on entry quick health form completed, allocated an RCL member to process and onboard we went. Smooth painless and done within 20 mins from start to finish. Onboard – Guest Services – As I was travelling with a minor their seapass card has to have a spend limit put on. Quick and easy, once in the line an RCL member helped fill out the relevant paperwork and we were free to start our holiday. Safety Drill –Instructions are on the back of you cabin door and your seaspass has you assigned station. Lots of RCL staff more than happy to assist you. Dining – Amazing! Before I embarked I was quick shocked at the reviews. I am so glad they were not relevant. Food in the MDR was outstanding; I went to Italian and was suitably impressed. Every night our servers/chefs/wait staff did something new to entertain the guests. As dining is a huge factor for my family it was lovely to see such drive and effort made to ensure we had a pleasant experience. Murder Mystery Dinner – If you haven’t done it try it. Was so much fun, the actors play a part you have a wonderful dinner and figure out who did it. Well worth the money. DreamWorks Breakfast – A must for little and big kids alike, was a great laugh. Just order eggs over easy sunny side up were a little too sunny. Cabin – Well I am delighted to say I had the pleasure of staying in Cabin 1854 a Family Panoramic View that is now classed as a suite. The views were spectacular and the position right at the front behind the pool bar and above solarium was excellent. Cabin was clean, neat tidy. Cabin steward was named Angel, well he was indeed that. He was fun, respectful and did his job to a very high standard. I couldn’t take him home unfortunately something about against the rules. Hairdryer provided and US electrical ports, so BYO adaptor. Ample cupboard space for hanging or putting away clothing. Facilities onboard – shops were varied, café promenade was fabulous for coffee and library was excellent. Children’s books are also available. Entertainment – OUT OF THIS WORLD. Great shows, Jamie the cruise director and his team were fabulous. They really enjoyed themselves and the acts showed passion and drive. The move it move it parade was a hit with all passengers young and old. Ice Shows x 2 both excellent those girls and boys were fabulous. Pig n Whistle – Well everyone has their favorite watering spot and this was mine. Carlo, musician was outstanding and I mean WOW had the place rocking to his vocals and guitar work. If you are looking for romance look no further, if you want to enjoy time that someone special, like I did, this is the place to be. Soft sounds and the perfect romantic venue. Many happy memories and many friendships made. Gym/Spa - Well I have been to some gyms in my time and given the amount of food consumed, I definitely needed to work some off. Equipment great, clean and in working order. Great views to get rid of those excess pounds. Theatres – Located decks 3 & 4 easy to access and wheelchair accessible seating provided. RCL meet n Greet – Host was fabulous however many members didn’t get their invite even though they registered. For this particular sailing there was no role call and a Facebook Page was created to chat about all things cruising and RCL. Cruise critic this is something that needs attention as emails were sent to amend but was not rectified. Summary – This ship is quite large however the staff onboard were all singing. I mean right down to the maintenance people. Management have done an excellent job, a happy crew makes for a happy cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I went on this cruise with my mother,my very first cruise...but now I am hooked, everything about this ship was amazing,I have a fear of heights,so I expected this to be a problem,but the moment I boarded on deck four and turned the ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my mother,my very first cruise...but now I am hooked, everything about this ship was amazing,I have a fear of heights,so I expected this to be a problem,but the moment I boarded on deck four and turned the corner to the lifts I discovered for every glass lift there is also an enclosed lift (none glass lift).so all the anxiety I had about this was gone, Our room was amazing with a big balcony and plenty of space to move around.Our room service attendant (Romeo) was amazing he went above and beyond to do anything for us. Our dining experience was also amazing our waiters Aliston and Jonnes greeted us every night saying our names and there was nothing we could fault,the food was awesome with a great menu to choose from. The ice skating show was something not to be missed,it was outstanding on our 11 night cruise there was two different shows and 100% worth seeing. The night shows in the theatre were maybe for the oldies my mum loved them ,but I felt I would rather be down in a bar listening to some music. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
• We would like to see bad sheet change every 4 days not 7! • Table tennis area windy, some digital timer to be on the game for each machine to be fare. • Main dinner restaurant need more verity food no much choice did not ... Read More
• We would like to see bad sheet change every 4 days not 7! • Table tennis area windy, some digital timer to be on the game for each machine to be fare. • Main dinner restaurant need more verity food no much choice did not bidder to use it. • Would like to see some Turkish food in Windjammer café or in restaurant • Urgent rules for spa /sauna area, Eg before and after spa entry must have a shower. Peoples enter the spa after the Gym with sweaty body, • Breakfast in main dinner room take to long, must be buffy style. • The workers very tight, need 1 day rest 12hrs 7days 7 months they are human not machine! • The pool area very wrong designed, pool size to small for amount of peoples in the ship 3000.Can’t see the big screen because of spa cover. • Shore excursion on the ship very expansive did not use it. • The pool area very slippery when wet foore need to be slip prove. • More verity cheese need it for breakfast, Mediterranean style • In the shower need seat for elderly peoples. • 10/10 Windjammer café, enjoy flower ride ,rock climbing t/tennis, basketball area Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Needing time away, this was a fantastic break away which met every box for me. You can met as many people as you like or just spend time on your own, the choice was yours which was great!! . Embarking was a bit slow, but hay, over ... Read More
Needing time away, this was a fantastic break away which met every box for me. You can met as many people as you like or just spend time on your own, the choice was yours which was great!! . Embarking was a bit slow, but hay, over 3000 people, that's normal! Loved the info touch screen on every floor by the stairs/lifts. Helped a lot till I got to know my way around. Things to do to please everyone. Loved all that I went to. Loved the "my time" dining and windjammer along with the snack bar, coffee, ice cream bar on the 5th floor:) I'm veggie, so found a pleasant surprise by a lot of choice for me!! Some people will complain about getting ashore for booked tours. Not only did the Captain apologize but people also go refunds on part of those tours. The next few ports, the captain made sure we got to the next port WAY ahead of time. Sometimes things happen which can not be fixed on board due to shore regulations. Being my first cruise, I got hooked and would go again in a flash!! Unpack once and pack once, ggreat!! Plenty of bars around the ship to serve cold drinks. Smoking is limited to one side of the ship on level 5 outside and level 11 outside on the same side. Plenty of pools and spas and one for adults only which is great. HUGE outside movie screen was awesome. Loved the self serve ice cream up on the pool deck :) mmMMmm Very little noise in this room. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We did a back on back, so cruised for 20 days. Tasmania, Pacific Islands and New Zealand. The upgrades that have been done are excellent, especially the Flow Rider. Good entertainment for all and wonderful caring staff. This was our ... Read More
We did a back on back, so cruised for 20 days. Tasmania, Pacific Islands and New Zealand. The upgrades that have been done are excellent, especially the Flow Rider. Good entertainment for all and wonderful caring staff. This was our third cruise on this ship and we have no complaints. Ice shows were excellent, Main productions were good, Comedy was good. Food was good as usual, no excuse with the selections available If you get to Diamond, you will see the next level of service. Just excellent service and extremely helpful and professional staff. So its really worth it to stay Loyal to Royal. It was that good that we have booked another cruise on Voyager. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Food was ordinary - Breakfast , lunch and Dinner never changed in the windjammer...needs to be more creative. Overcrowded since the refurbishment...queues were common through-out the ship. This is due to adding 750 people to the ... Read More
Food was ordinary - Breakfast , lunch and Dinner never changed in the windjammer...needs to be more creative. Overcrowded since the refurbishment...queues were common through-out the ship. This is due to adding 750 people to the ship capacity and reduction of staff. Cabins are good..so was the cabin stewardess. Music could be better....although piano bar was awesome. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This really was a lovely cruise. the itinerary was excellent as all the ports were interesting and there was plenty to learn and to do in each one. This was helped by having wonderful weather except for the last day in Venice. The ... Read More
This really was a lovely cruise. the itinerary was excellent as all the ports were interesting and there was plenty to learn and to do in each one. This was helped by having wonderful weather except for the last day in Venice. The ship i now about 12 years old but still looked lovely to me. My cabin was in very good condition, in fact, they changed the furniture during the course of the cruise although the items they took out still looked good to me. I was, as always with Royal Caribbean, very impressed with some of the crew members. My waitress, Laura from Romania, was particularly excellent. I am on a strict diet and she really went out of her way to make sure I got steamed vegetables with each meal and a fruit plate for dessert. This was so much better than my previous experience. All in all I heartily recommend this itinerary and ship. There was no option on the list for Koper or Ravenna so I will write about the 3 ports in this space. Port 1 was Koper and I took an excursion to Ljubljana. This was a delightful city with beautiful architecture and lovely outdoor cafes. It happened to be the day of their Medieval parade which was lovely and colourful. I then had time for a leisurely walk around Koper which was also charming but very small. The next port was Ravenna and I did an expensive but worthwhile excursion to Bologna and Ravenna. Both cities were very interesting and full of historical gems. In Bari itself I felt I made a mistake. I took the excursion to Alberobello which was an OK place but the excursion took up far too much of the day in relation to the interest leaving far too little time for Bari itself. I did have just enough time to have a wander around the old town and took a bicycle rickshaw which was excellent. In short I would not recommend an excursion in Bari and felt I cheated myself by wasting the time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Arriving at Embarkation was easy but the walking starts immediately when you take the transfers. Your luggage is dumped at a warehouse and you proceed a nice walk to the check-in area. My check-in was a bit of a problem as my Sea Card was ... Read More
Arriving at Embarkation was easy but the walking starts immediately when you take the transfers. Your luggage is dumped at a warehouse and you proceed a nice walk to the check-in area. My check-in was a bit of a problem as my Sea Card was not on file and I waited over 30 minutes to get it before boarding. As noted by another passenger the rooms were not available until 1 or later and not knowing this I sought out the Hotel Manager to complain. Mr. Taggert, a Canadian who is a Saints Fan (I am from New Orleans), was extremely hospitable and offered me the opportunity to leave my carry-on luggage in his office while I familiarized myself with the ship and the Windjammer Restaurant. My experiences in the Windjammer were excellent. My experience in the dining room however were far from good starting on night one. Our Asst. waiter filled our water glasses and gave us bread and then disappeared. I talked to the Head Waiter and the following night the Asst. was not working our table. Scheduled for a 10 top I was disappointed when I sat at a 6top with only one couple and three empty chairs. The third night out our Asst. Waiter returns along with three new people. I asked the Head waiter why the Asst. was sent back and he said "He wanted a second chance." I said that was fine but not at our table (the Asst. waiter stayed the rest of the cruise much to my displeasure and caused the original couple at the table to leave and not return the rest of the trip). I had a room overlooking the Promenade and loved it. No noise at all (I was in the noise when it happened so it didn't bother my sleep). The room was large and the bed very comfortable and housekeeping outstanding. I took the shuttles into Dubrovnik(via a tour)and Ravenna. My concern was that anyone from the boat could get on the shuttle going back free as tickets were not checked. Koper, Ravenna and Bari are nice quaint old towns where you can get great pictures but little else. History is their main existence- beautiful cathedrals, basilicas and many statues. Venice was beautiful and I was told to wear a hat b/c of pigeon droppings. Fortunately when I was in the square many tourists were keeping the pigeons on the ground as they fed them so there were no pigeon bombs to avoid. Walking around Venice was wonderful, hot and at times confusing. I saw what I wanted to see and returned to the ship really happy but somewhat tired. As a Past Passenger I was afforded the opportunity to relax before dinner in a special lounge that had excellent service. But no one told me where it was and it took me 2 days to find it (Cloud Nine on Deck 14). The Ice Show was the best entertainment on the boat. All major productions were lip synced. The Beatles presentation was so loud people left well before it was done. I felt the Cruise Director, Mercedes from Argentina, was not good. The Lounge entertainment was excellent especially the gentlemen in the Schooner Bar and the Pig and Whistle Pub. The Promenade shows were good but the crowds were very selfish about allowing everyone to see comfortably. There was a group of children (about 8 of them) who ran uncontrolled throughout all parades colliding with people watching the parades. On the last night when people wanted and needed to get boarding passes, confirm reservations etc the computer system went down. But Customer Service allowed the passengers to use a computer at the front Desk to get any passes we needed. Disembarkation was a piece of cake as it usually is on cruise ships but Marco Polo airport is poorly marked for people checking luggage and getting to the right carrier and their ride home. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This cruise was one of the best experiences of my life. I'm going to be honest about the minor bumps it had, but in no way think I had a bad time or wouldn't do the same trip over. I booked my 7 night Mediterranean cruise on ... Read More
This cruise was one of the best experiences of my life. I'm going to be honest about the minor bumps it had, but in no way think I had a bad time or wouldn't do the same trip over. I booked my 7 night Mediterranean cruise on Voyager of the Seas through a TA. I used an agent because I wanted everything handled and I used this because my parents used them for a cruise they took a few months before mine. Using an agent was a waste of time. No matter what I asked her, she never had an answer besides "I'll call Royal Caribbean" or "look online". Now if I wanted to do leg work for this trip I wouldn't have used an agent, and I could have called RC myself. I expected a travel agent to be able to provide me with expert advice on a hotel for before my stay, but she referred me to the internet. The one tip she gave me was that the RC sponsored hotel I chose was supposed closer to everything than the other RC hotel I was looking at, which turned out to be wrong. She also didn't know that I could buy a post cruise transfer after I did my own airfare and when I called to ask her she had to call the cruiseline. This agency specializes in cruises, how could she not know? Better yet, why couldn't anyone in her office tell her? In the end, when my final documents didn't appear, I called the agency to find out she no longer worked there (no surprise though a call from them to inform me would have been nice) and that RC no longer mailed documents as they were all online. The last time I spoke to my agent she told me to look for them in the mail so there was another thing she didn't know. All I can say is that with RC's easy to use website and the uselessness of the agent I had I would book my next cruise myself instead of via "remote" control the way I did this time. The hotel: The hotel I spent 2 nights at pre-cruise was the Hotel Gran Havana in Barcelona. As I did my own air (saving $300 over RC's air) I had to get myself to the hotel. My friend the Spanish teacher assured me taxis were fine so that's what I took. I have some rusty Spanish under my belt (I was nearly fluent once) so it didn't bother me that the cabbies only speak Spanish, but the people behind me weren't so lucky. Be warned if you decide to use a taxi and don't speak Spanish. As the Havana is a hotel RC suggests for this cruise, I'll mention its highs and lows. The Hotel Gran Havana was clean and nicely decorated. The lobby did look a little worn, but my room was in good shape. In a shocking turn of events, my flight arrived so after my unairconditioned taxi ride, I arrived at my hotel at 8:30 a.m. (the time I was supposed to land) feeling rather grungy. I didn't expect a room, but I thought they'd give me some place to clean up and change. No. They stowed my bags and told me to come back at 3:00! Jetlagged and dazed I stumbled out into Barcelona and roamed around for 3 hours until my sanity began to return and I realized I smelled, I hadn't seen a bathroom in about 5 hours and my feet were now bright red and twice their normal size. I went back to the hotel to relax in the lobby and whether a room freed up early or they gave me someone else's to get me out of the lobby, they gave me a room by 11:30 a.m. Breakfast is included for RC guests, but get there early or it gets picked over. I'll also note that this hotel isn't that close to sights or food. Had I gone with one on Passeig de Gracia there would have been fancy and casual places to eat everywhere. The Havana was nearish to a few fancy places that I wasn't comfortable walking to in the dark as I was a woman traveling alone. The bad travel agent strikes again. This was a nice place to stay, but at least two blocks to the right would have been a better location. If I had it to do over, I wouldn't stay there again simply because everything was too far. There was an RC agent at the hotel for a few hours a day, but they mostly were there to push excursions. I was interested in taking one, but none of them met at the hotel or anywhere near it. To do one I would have had to figure out how to get myself to the meeting place and then how to get back to the hotel. No thanks. Transfer: The transfer from the hotel to the ship was perfection. Bags by the door by 9:40 and meet in the lobby at 10:40. My bag was at my door by 9:20 and it was picked up immediately. Ten of us met in the lobby at 10:30 and were put on a huge, mostly empty, well air conditioned bus with 4 other people. We were on our way to the ship by 10:35. At the terminal things started out organized as you checked in via deck level line, but once you did that, no one knew where to go. There was a herd of people to my right so I went over and wasn't sure if they were the waiting to board herd or a herd trying to get a beverage from a slushy guy. As I couldn't get near his table and I wasn't sure if they were free or not, I hung back and waited until the herd began moving forward to board and slowly became a line. Lots of stops and starts along the way, but it didn't take as long as I thought because by 12:05 I was on the ship, had eaten lunch and was sitting up on deck. First day and a half Barcelona harbor and the ocean: They told us rooms were ready at 1:00, but as a previous cruise had shown me what management announces and what housekeeping does are 2 different things, I waited until 1:30 to go to my room and still found the entire hallway of rooms being cleaned. Once I could I put my bag in my room I did and went up on deck not to return until 5:00 when I wanted to use the bathroom before the 5:15 muster drill. Thus began my dance with housekeeping. As I walked back to my room, I saw suitcases outside doors, but mine hadn't arrived yet. Within 5 minutes of entering my room, someone was knocking. It was my attendant with my bag. She shoved past me into my room and proceeded to inform me of her name and hours. She also told me to use the "please clean" or "do not disturb" cards regularly. To my way of thinking, if I was in my room for 5 minutes I didn't need the card nor would I need it if I was in there when she wasn't working. Turns out, to her way of thinking, she could barge in whenever she wanted if I didn't put the "do not" card in the door. Didn't matter if I literally ducked in to drop off a purchase or was reading on my balcony during her "off" hours, she was bugging me. I booked a balcony to avoid what happened on my last cruise where every time I sat on deck I was bombarded by "Bahama Mama" waiters. This time I was basically chased out of my pricey room and it's not like I was in there that much, after our one and only day at sea I was on excursions every day. I'm still not sure why my bag was brought into my room while I was in there when everyone else around me had their bag left outside their door. And I know she wasn't in there cleaning because that first day the carpet was stained and covered in what looked like bits of dry flowers. Based on past experience and the looping video telling a muster drill began with the sounding of the alarm, even though I knew it began at 5:15, I wasn't going to go to my station until I heard the horn blast. So imagine my surprise when the same attendant was literally BANGING on my door 10 minutes after the bag arrived demanding to know why I hadn't left for the drill. First of all the captain hadn't sounded the alarm yet and second of all it was 5:10 and the drill was at 5:15. After the drill I decided to investigate the water plan. I was paying 2 Euro (about $3) for half liter bottles of water at the hotel vending machine in Spain, so $28 for 8 one liter bottles sounded like a good deal, but here is where RC is sneaky. They don't tell you they slap the EU's VAT tax on top of that price so the charge on my bill was for $35. Not such a good deal. On land in the EU, the tax is already in the price not added on later and in the states they don't tax food (or at least not in my state) so that was a nasty surprise. I really felt misled. I then returned to my room to clean up for dinner and no sooner did the door close and the attendant was up my butt again to give me my newsletter. That couldn't wait until I left for dinner? She wasn't even supposed to start working for another 2 hours. After that I started putting the card in my door even to sleep because I feared she'd barge in at 7:00 a.m. while I was sleeping if I didn't. Dinner was another trial. I spent 2 nights sitting alone at a table for 6 and all the 3 waiters serving me would say was "I'm sure they'll be here tomorrow". I made jokes about it to all 3 of them and thought they'd catch on and move me to the table next to me that had 2 empty seats, but there's a policy that you have sit alone and be both embarrassed and put at risk (since it announced I was a woman traveling alone to like 1500 people) before they'll move you. In fact, they didn't suggest a move until I got up on night 2 to report them to guest services. If I were with my boyfriend I could see making us wait 2 nights as we would have at least had each other, but as I was totally alone they should have had more sensitivity. Night 3 I was moved and the people I was with were great. I found the entrees in the main dining room varied and very good. The desserts were horrid every night and the other people at my table agreed. The sitting alone thing aside, the wait staff did prove very personable. As there were 3 teens at my new table, I got to see how the waiters interacted with kids and they really did a fabulous job, even the parents commented. Don't be afraid to ask for a kids menu, it's the same every night, but it has staples that the teens at my table were very happy to pick from instead of the adult food on the main menu. I did one breakfast and one lunch at Windjammers. Lunch was ok, but breakfast seemed really dried out. The milk was awful. Then I found the Cafe Promenade and was hooked. On excursion days when I had to eat before 7 a.m., it was my only option, but as I prefer pastry and tea for breakfast I was fine. Cinnamon Danish were great. Also went there for lunch when I was on board for that meal. While other reviews bash the pizza, it wasn't the worst I've had and tons of people were eating it happily. On the last day of the trip when the butter and tea bags all different looking, the pizza looked and tasted just like Pizza Hut. They also had fresh made three bite sandwiches for lunch that varied in ingredients daily. I would eat a sandwich at noon and then get a slice of pizza around 4:00 since dinner was at 7:00 and I was starving well before then. I came back from lunch on the first day to find items that weren't mine in my room. As the cleaning staff at work is forever leaving personal items on our desks, I assumed the gum and headband I found were the attendant's and left them on top the TV for her when I went to dinner. She put them back with my stuff. So the next day before I left for my excursion I left her a note saying they weren't mine. It wasn't until I left the ship that I thought to worry someone had been in my room. After a 9 hour excursion with over 2 miles of walking, I hurried off to dinner and then hurried back to my room as I was exhausted and had to be up early the next day for an excursion. So I was really annoyed when the attendant cornered me at my door for 10 minutes to explain she hadn't cleaned my room well enough before I got in it the first day and the proof was the mystery items she found behind my TV and thought were mine. If I reported her she'd get in trouble. That explained the dingy carpet, which was suddenly cleaner after she knew she was busted. She then proceeded to scold me for being in my room too much after I spent 11 hours out of it that day and had booked a balcony to have privacy. All in all, she managed to annoy me in every possible way during this trip. It never occurred to me to go to guest relations about the mystery items, but I really should have as this dingbat later charged my room a $9.75 minibar charge because in her inattention to detail before my arrival she didn't check to see what the previous guests used. Guest relations tried to shrug it off by saying maybe she saw my water plan bottle in the trash and thought I took one from the bar, but the ones in the bar are smaller so that wasn't it. They also tried the "we'll look into it" method to get out of removing the charge until I went off about credit card fraud, then said they'd fix it. However I couldn't view my bill on the TV for 2 days to make sure. Had I reported her for not cleaning enough, I could have cited it when I said I suspected what happened with the charge. With everything that works off the seapass card, why doesn't opening the mini bar require a swipe of it? It would prove if a guest ever opened it or not. The room was comfortable and had enough room, but things did look worn. Carpet needed to be replaced and the bedding had tears. However the mattress was thick and I slept great. No hall noise like on my last cruise either. I spent little time on the ship once we hit the ports, but this cruise is about the ports. I had a blast the entire time. All the excursions I did were booked online via RC's site and they weren't the horrors I was warned of. Most had 30 people or less and all the buses were tour buses like we have in the US with great a/c on them. The ports: Barcelona: This wasn't really a port of call on this cruise, it was the embarkation point, that you didn't get to see unless you went over early or your flight landed early before boarding. As I did Barcelona through RC I'll give it a mention. Two days was about enough time to see everything. Things are mostly walkable if you want to see a couple Gaudi buildings and shop. Other stuff will require a taxi (expensive) or the metro (confusing). I stuck to what I could walk to and between my roaming and the bus ride to the ship felt I saw a lot, Barcelona is very pretty and set up to be a walking friendly city. The end of July is their "sale" month and the Catalan word for it is Rebaixes, see that on a window and look out, it's like a feeding frenzy inside the store. However, while they say the stores open at 9:30 or 10:00 all over Europe, in all 3 countries I visited, that translated as about 10:10 and nothing anywhere is open on a Sunday. As in all the cities I visited, street signs are few, tiny and up so high you won't notice them unless you're using stilts so use a map and count the number of blocks you need to walk. There are also panhandlers, I felt really bad for them, BUT the scam is to see where you take money out of so their partner can take your wallet. This is not the time to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone you don't know. Keep walking if asked for money, directions or you're told there's something on your clothing, and if they persist, make a scene it scares them off. I didn't have any trouble, but I carried a zippered, locked purse cross-body and forgot the term good Samaritan existed. Naples: Today was the first port day and the second full day of the trip. I did the Amalfi Drive and Pompeii tour, and of my 5 excursions this was my favorite, a 9 out of 10. You definitely need a sun hat to see anything as the sun is blinding and sunglasses aren't enough. They give you a free bottle of water in Pompeii, but I drank it plus a bottle from the trip so bring extra if visiting in the summer. Make sure you bring Euros as there are 4 shopping stops before Pompeii that give you a discount for cash. Also don't sit on the driver side of the bus or you'll have a stunning view of rock the whole time. Amalfi is gorgeous and unlike those who took the boat tour, we had several stops to buy inlaid wood products, ceramics and varied objects before lunch at a hotel. The first 2 stops had clean, free (they charge for the bathroom in Europe) places to use the bathroom. Lunch was good if a little heavy for the middle of a hot day. More coast views until we reached Pompeii. We stopped at a cameo factory first. There wasn't enough time to really look and thought I bought, I felt their prices were a little high for their talk of a "discount". I also learned here that sellers in Italy are high pressure. You can't look. The first thing you pick up is what they want to rush you to the register with. I might have bought a $500 item if I could have made my way to the back of the shop to find it instead of being pressured to buy the $200 one I looked at when I walked in. I left several stores in Italy because it was the only way to get away from the salespeople. Pompeii wasn't what I expected. Worth a see, but mostly ruins and little art. I was confused as everyone says it's nearly perfect and I've seen art on TV that I didn't see there. Our guide, who I enjoyed, claimed we saw it all but the arena, however when I got home and looked online I saw we looped the forum about 3 times and didn't see any of the intact houses or temples. That is why this day is a 9 instead of a 10. Citavecchia: Most people do Rome on this day, but I did Tarquinia as the Rome tours were all about the Vatican and that didn't interest me. They talk up the Etruscan angle of Tarquinia, but the tour doesn't show you anything about them. Instead you walk through a medieval village that is still lived in and what isn't lived in is infested by pigeons and their poop. The first part of the tour is a waste and you again need a sun hat. Then you get an hour of free time before a hurried gelato tasting. I paid 6 Euro to view the Etruscan museum. It's hot, the stairs were made for horses so going up them is like going up hill and going down you feel like you are going to fall on your face, and all the signs (what few there are) are in Italian so navigation is hard. I did find the winged horses, which are stunning, but I was expecting a floor to ceiling statue and they were about the size of a large TV as they came off a temple's exterior. Really this tour should be about the museum and not about walking around the town. The gelato was wonderful, like nothing we have at home. You pick 3 flavors, which you don't have much time to look at first. My favorite was the tiramisu. Then they make 2 flavors fresh in front of you. Ours were cherry and a dairy-free cantaloupe. I hate cherries, but loved the gelato with it in. I was still wishing I had done Rome (I changed my mind about what tour I wanted too late) until I got to dinner and heard nothing but complaints of crowding, being rushed and the dangerous traffic. Also I spent the next day with people I met on the Tarquinia trip so it worked out. This would have been my least favorite day if not for the waste of time in Nice and Eze, so that ranks this day as 4th. Livorno: Today I did the Pisa and Florence on your own excursion. Basically you pay $99 to be bused to Pisa and then to Florence. On the bus a guide tells you what to see in the towns, but you do what you want once you arrive. It was my third favorite day. We did Pisa first and while I'm glad I saw it, it wasn't the stunner I expected. Don't plan a day around it as the area is small and infested with street vendors. The first ones meet your bus in the parking lot (which is a half mile from Pisa) and follow after you until you leave the lot. The rest have booths along the Field of Miracles. It began to thunder while we were there and no sooner were we back on the bus and it poured. Sideways rain, wind and an electrical storm plagued us for almost the whole hour drive to Florence. What I didn't like was the hard sell to buy a listening tour of Florence or some other tour product for once we reached our destination. They passed out a brochure, which didn't list prices and made us watch a video of the products. No one bought and the guide commented that maybe she wasn't a good seller and maybe she would lose her job. I really liked her until then, but as we paid more than those getting a guided tour for this excursion, why pay more to make it sort of guided anyway? The listening tour should have been part of the price whether we decided to use it or not, not extra. Florence is full of narrow streets (that flood terribly) that don't go in a straight line so it's hard to navigate. It was designed to be so to fool invaders, but none of the maps they gave us on the ship or the bus reflected the twists. Written directions, like "turn left when you see a statue of a man on a horse", would have been nice instead of pictures that didn't match what you saw on land. We had about 10 minutes before the rain started and 10 minutes after that the lightning started. Of our 3 hours and 45 mins in Florence, we spent 30 hiding under an overhang and 45 eating lunch to escape the storm. I had the best tiramisu of my life there. I did get some gold shopping down on the Ponte Vecchio and in town. I found all the leather overpriced and most felt like cardboard. Call me crazy, but if the leather is made in Italy, why isn't "made in Italy" written in Italian? I only found one of the RC recommended leather shops and it was closed, but their gold store was WAY overpriced and didn't have anything I couldn't find at home. It also had 14kt gold mixed in with the traditional 18kt Italian gold to trip up anyone who doesn't know 18kt is stamped 750 in Europe. Villefranche: Welcome to France! The view out my balcony of the harbor town was breathtaking. My excursion to Nice and Eze wasn't until the afternoon so I roamed the ship and then took the tender ship over. I walked around the harbor a little and then met my tour. The guide was awful. Not only did she mumble, but she rarely shut up. A few minutes of quiet would have been nice particularly since she said nothing of importance. I could never find the stuff we were supposed to see out the bus window because she talked about it a mile before we got to it and never pointed it out once we reached it. Our driving tour of Nice was basically, "there's a building, there another building, Princess Grace honeymooned here, isn't France great". I'm serious. She made a big deal about using our ear sets once we got off the bus for the walking tour portion. We got off the bus and walked down several streets and around several corners all waiting to hear what she had to say through our ear sets. For as much as she rambled on the bus, she barely said a word in the ear sets. Rather, she barely said a word to us. When she spoke, she carried on a personal conversation in French with the bus driver and the rest of the time all we heard was her breathing. We reached an arch and she told us to our left was a flower market and to our right was shopping. Our meeting spot would be...where we left the bus and not this central location we could easily find. The flower market was a couple picnic tables with common plants on it. Nothing I couldn't buy at home, not that I could take them back on the ship. The shops were full of tourist T-shirts and magnets. Back on the bus, they tried to sell us overpriced water and soda. I saw Samantha Brown's episode on Eze and really wanted to see it for myself. Maybe there's another Eze, because I didn't see what they showed on TV. More horse stairs made slippery by the rain. A woman at my dinner table got her arm scraped up in a fall on these stairs and it's not like she had any walking difficulties either so be careful. Thing about Europe is they don't have a disability act or many safety codes so for those of us used to everything being easy access or marked as "watch your step" because an injury will result in a lawsuit, it's tricky. I can't tell you how many step-ups I missed or a huge step-down I almost broke my ankle on. None are marked. Knowing a lot of Americans are on this cruise, RC should at least give you a heads-up in their daily newsletter that every store's entrance is like running the gauntlet. Or at least have the guides mention it since every excursion I took was through RC. It was cool outside as it was rainy and we were in the mountains, but the shops (all Eze is, is a series of stores) were abominably hot and so small 3 people could barely fit in them. Our guide insisted on the ear sets again and yet again didn't use them. Our tour consisted of walking up some stairs to a church, going in the church and then being told to walk around as we couldn't get lost there's only one way down. Those who went to the top had to pay 5 Euro if they wanted to see the garden, which should have been included in our tour price. The highlight of the day was being trapped on the dock on the way back to the ship because Madonna, yes that Madonna, was filming in the harbor and our tender ships made too much noise. We did get to see a scene being filmed and I did get one too far away picture of Madonna. Do yourself a favor and take a tour that goes to Monaco or explore Villefranche town on your own instead of doing this tour. Least favorite of the trip and I wasn't the only one saying that. Marseilles: Interesting thing is that the waiters didn't find out we weren't going to Toulon until the night before. When I booked the trip and my excursion it said Marseilles so I wasn't surprised. This was a port I had no expectations for and it wound up being my second favorite day. I picked to visit Cassis and almost changed it to a Marseilles city tour. Thank god I didn't. Marseilles, as I saw from the bus, was another art nouveau European city, Cassis was a wonderful fishing village where they only spoke French. First we went to a national park overlooking the village. We were the first tour in weeks to get up there as it was closed for fear of fire. I smelled the pine, felt the wind and heard the cicadas they are so thrilled about that every shop has soap, toys and sculptures of them for sale. The bus took us back down and a tiny electric train took us from the parking area to the town as they limit vehicles. My only regret is that I didn't think to walk down to the ocean instead of just taking pictures of the beach. It is a topless beach, so parents be warned. We had two hours to explore and I used every minute. This was a great final day for the cruise. When we got back to the ship, several tiny stalls of goods had opened next to it. While some had tourist junk, one had actual paintings of ocean and landscapes for 10 Euros. So imagine my surprise, after all the shopping I told you about, that my dinner companions complained they never got to shop on this cruise. There was always a chance to buy non-tourist goods and tourist junk. I really can't say how they missed everything including the tiny shops right next to the ship. Now we come to the transfer to the airport to go home. As my flight was at 10:35 a.m. I was in the first group to leave. It was supposed to be off at 6:45, but it was 7:00 when we were called. Because my parents were delayed getting to the airport after their cruise when their luggage was sent to the wrong side of the terminal, they told me to carry my own bags with my short time before my flight to hedge my bets. I did and it was useless. I was put on a bus to wait until all the slowpokes who don't know what "on time" means got their bags out of the terminal and dragged themselves to the bus. I really wished I hadn't done the transfer and had used a taxi, I would have left 30 minutes sooner. When I got to the airport the lines were long and I didn't have time to search for the VAT office to get my tax free coupons stamped. Best tip I can give is, the taxis in Barcelona are perfectly safe, use them. Cost will be about $45, but RC's transfer was $30 and I'd pay an extra $15 to just get going. RC made it sound like the customs officer that stamped us out of Barcelona would stamp the VAT vouchers. No. There is a separate office that is only mentioned on the back of the form the store gives you. I was the only person who knew what to do, but I wasn't the only person the EU screwed over because I couldn't find the right office. No one could. The office isn't marked and everyone tells you it's somewhere else. Once I got through security and went to the info desk, the guy smugly told me it was before security. My choice was to eat the money or leave the airport and come back in. As they over sold my flight and interrogated me about my bag before I checked in, I wasn't risking it; plus RC cost me a lot of time with the wait to leave the parking lot. I thought the customs officer stamping me out would help, but I got another smug smile. They want to keep our tax money, don't believe the "it's easy" hype. If you don't have the stamped form mailed back within 21 days of the purchase date they put the tax and an unspecified fee on your credit card. Pay in cash as the stores don't have to report that they left the tax off on cash transactions like they do with credit cards and if a form isn't involved they can't tack it onto your credit card because they don't have it. I think a call to my credit card company has this little scam taken care of, but we'll see. Also don't waste your money on the ship's internet to check into your flight for a better zone. Not only did my gate agent check me in again making the zone 3 I paid $8 in net fees for a zone 9, but they board by row in Barcelona and it's a long process as they grill everyone for a second time about your bag's path to the airport. I had a great time, I told you what to look out for so it sounds a bit negative, but they are things that had I known would have made my total trip a 10 out of 10 instead of a 9 out of 10. I really did love this trip as the 618 pictures I took prove. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Voyager of the Seas - April 5 - 12, 2009 This is my thirteenth cruise, fifth on Royal Caribbean, second on a Voyager class ship and first on the Voyager of the Seas.  I selected a PR (promenade view) cabin because I've never been ... Read More
Voyager of the Seas - April 5 - 12, 2009 This is my thirteenth cruise, fifth on Royal Caribbean, second on a Voyager class ship and first on the Voyager of the Seas.  I selected a PR (promenade view) cabin because I've never been in one before.  Since my fifth cruise, as a result of a request for more information, I have been writing my review while on the ship, while it is still fresh in my mind. I signed up for this cruise about one year ago to join a friend who I met on a ship tour.  This will be our first cruise together.  Our roll call has been going strong for about one year also, and has over 10,000 posts.  We will all finally get a chance to meet tomorrow and the next day.  There are over one hundred people signed up for the Meet & Mingle. Galveston is not the easiest port to cruise out of.  The airport is in the north end of Houston and it is quiet a distance to the port.  There are no rental car agencies on the island, which makes it hard on those that fly in.  In fact, it is costing me as much to go from the hotel to the port as it is to go from Los Angeles to Houston by air.  When I have to fly to the port, I go a day early (just in case).  The day started at 5:00am when my alarm when off.  By 6:00am I was driving to the airport.  I was actually at the gate before 7:30am and decided to look for someone from the roll call.  I didn't see him, and didn't feel like walking around calling his name, so we will meet up tomorrow or Monday on the ship.  He took the 8:00am flight to Houston; I took the 9:00am flight (both flights were on time).  After landing I took a taxi to the Sheraton - Galleria in Houston (about $70 including the tip).  I booked this hotel via Hotwire for under $100 per night.  Not bad for a suite.  Hotels in Galveston are $200+. After putting my bags in the room I walked over to the Galleria (about two blocks away) and walked around.  It seems to be a fairly high end mall.  Then back to the room, upload the photos and started on this review. And now that I am all caught up, photos uploaded, checked in by posting on the roll call (thanks to the free wireless Internet access) and finished my review up to this point; it is time for a nice steak dinner.  I am in Texas after all, and there is a very nice steakhouse downstairs in the hotel. Day one - Sunday - embarkation day Because of the distance involved, and the lack of any rental car agents on the island, I decided to just hire a limo to take me to the ship.  The cost was $135 plus tip, or about twice the cost of the trip to the hotel, and about three times the distance (which means it is less expensive than a taxi and far more comfortable).  Originally I arranged for a 10am pick up.  However, I was warned about construction delays along the route, both by on line posts and via an e-mail from Royal Caribbean to my agent.  So I moved the pick up to up to 9:30am.  The driver was a little early, and I received the call in the room just as I was getting ready to leave (good timing).  Check out was quick, since I incurred no additional charges beyond what I paid Hotwire.  Of course there were no delays and I arrived at the pier at about 10:30am.  There is no one directing traffic, and there are two large ships in port, totaling over 6000 passengers coming plus 6000 passengers going.  Nonetheless, I am surprised that there is a line this early to board the ship.  First I have to find a porter.  Then just as I am about to get in line, the door opens.  As easy as that would have been to just walk in the door, I decide I am not going to cut in line.  I walk toward the end of the line.  About half way there the line develops a big gap for some reason, so I make a quick U turn and soon I am inside the passenger terminal.  Since I am platinum, I have priority check in.  I am the only one in that line.  In minutes I am checked in and being served champagne in the waiting area.  I decide to pick a chair close to the entry door and wait.  Shortly before 11:30 embarkation begins.  I believe I was the first one on the ship (the new and gold members embark from a different area).  I and the others who are platinum or better end up boarding through the crew entrance.  In fact, because that is how we embark while on a ship tours, I recognize it as the crew entrance and assume I was directed to the wrong location.  Even security seems surprised.  However, it is soon confirmed that they are starting the boarding process, and that I am in the right place.  A few seconds later I am aboard.  Again, because of the ship tours I have been on I know how to get to the cabin even before the official time.  I have opted for a promenade view cabin only because I have never had one before.  With this I can say I have been in all categories of cabins, inside, ocean view, balcony, suite and now an inside with a window.  I find my room steward and tell him that I am just going to drop off my carry on and then I head to the Royal Promenade to take pictures.  A few pictures here, and few pictures there, and soon I am outside on the sun deck.  I call someone who I know is on the way and tell him the captain is calling his name and he has five minutes to get on board or the ship will leave without him.  It is still only 11:40am (about five hours before the ship is scheduled to depart) and my friend doesn't sound too worried about it. With a few photos under my belt, I decide to head over to the Windjammer to eat.  I am surprised at how many people are there.  It is too early to be crowded, but it is also before noon and there a lot of people here.  After a quick lunch I head back out to take more pictures.  I was on the Navigator of the Seas in August 2004.  That ship does not have an Aquarium Bar.  This ship does.  It is on deck four near the aft elevators.  However, at the time I was there I did not remember if it was near the forward elevators or the rear elevators.  I walked right through it without realizing it was there because not only were there no fish, there was no water in the aquariums.  Only when I reach the forward elevators and don't see any fish do I realize what has happened.  I back track to the Aquarium Bar and verify that indeed the aquariums are empty.  I see a crew member just outside and ask if this is the aquarium bar.  It is the cruise director and he verifies that it is the Aquarium Bar.  So then I say, "Shouldn't it have some fish?"  At about this time he sees my shirt and realizes I am one of the many passengers that is a member of an online cruise forum.  I invite him to our Meet & Mingle, however, he does not know if he will attend (it depends on his schedule).  He does confirm that he goes online to see what is being said about him.  We chat awhile and then I go off to explore the ship some more.  Soon it is 1:00pm and I head over to the cabin.  My checked luggage has not arrived yet.  So I just splash some cold water on my face.  Then there is a knock at the door.  I open the door to see who it is, and it is my checked luggage.  I drag it in and go back out for more pictures.  About 180 photos later, it is about 2:30pm.  Some of us from the roll call are going to meet at the pool bar at 3:00pm.  So I head back to my cabin.  Splash more cold water on my face and unpack.  I put my passport and extra money is the safe (it is the enter your own code type).  Then it is off to the pool bar to meet some of the people from my roll call.  I bring four coupon books with me (three from prior cruises and one from this cruise) and hand out coupons that I am not going to use.  I don't get them all handed out, so I'll bring them to the meet & mingle tomorrow.  It is good to finally put a face to those I have been chatting with for the past 50 weeks on the roll call.  Soon the announcement for the muster drill is made and I head to my cabin.  Just as I get my lifejacket the alarm sounds.  Though fairly quick, the muster drill is a little disorganized.  As I exit the door on deck four, the first group is C6.  I am next in C8.  However, the two groups seem to be encroaching on each other's space.  Eventually room is made for all.  Then at the end the captain speaks.  He announces that as soon as he finishes talking the drill is over.  I hear people unbuckling their life vests and decide to do the same with mine.  So I am not paying attention to the C6 group.  However, I do hear the people in charge of our group saying you can't leave yet.  As soon as the captain finishes I turn to leave and see that the entire C6 group is gone.  Up to the cabin, drop off my lifejacket and then back down to the helipad for sail away.  A very strong wind is blowing the ship toward the dock and I am honestly surprised the ship was able to move away from the dock.  Soon it is 5:26pm, and although we have not left the harbor yet (we have turned 180 degrees and we are heading for the open sea, we just have not exited the harbor yet).  Dinner is at 5:30 and I don't want to hold anyone up.  I arrive at the table only to see that it is empty.  I figure everyone is coming when I realize that two of the people standing in front of me are talking about our table (there are eight of us).  When one of them says something about changing tables I figure I better let my friend know that I am standing right behind him.  It seems Royal Caribbean got half of the reservation wrong.  Four of us are at one table and four of us are at another table.  So we are all reassigned to one of the Anytime Dining tables and we are all together in a prime location.  Everyone at the table orders the prime rib except the teenage girl who is a very picky eater.  The prime rib is very good.  After dinner I decide to upload my photos to the computer and then do a little shopping.  I run into my friends and we talk about one of the people on our roll call.  I am getting a little tired (too much sun) and decide to go up to the cabin and rest a bit.  I wake up at 10:30pm and decide to work on this until the parade begins at 11:00pm.  I leave the drapes open (the windows are not mirrored, so the drapes have to be closed if you want any privacy).  Interestingly it is not the noise (which I can not hear) that alerts me to the beginning of the parade, but rather the flashing lights.  So, anyone concerned about noise in a promenade view cabin need not be.  Unfortunately, not being able to hear anything makes viewing a little dull, so after a few pictures I am back here typing.  The cabin is a little smaller than most, at about 152 square feet.  All the Voyager class PR cabins sleep only two.  The cabin seems to lack some of the drawer space that I recall from my balcony cabin on the Navigator.  Otherwise it is very similar to ocean view cabins, except that the view is of the interior Royal Promenade.  It also has the switch for the bathroom outside the bathroom and on the hinge side of the door, which means if you enter the bathroom and forgot to turn on the light, you can not just reach outside the door and turn on the light.  You have to exit the bathroom, close the door and then you can turn on the light.  If they cannot put the switch on the inside of the bathroom, then why can't they at least put it on the latch side of the door? Well, it is a little after midnight, so it is time to close the drapes and get a little sleep.  Day two - Monday - day at sea I wake up and I am immediately greeted by the problem with all inside cabins.  There is no way to tell what it is like outside without physically leaving the cabin.  The bridge channel (all bridges all the time) states that we are moving at over 21 knots.  This seems a little fast, since Cozumel is close, until I remember that it is actually closer to Miami than it is to Galveston.  I can feel a little movement of the ship.  The bridge channel (what I call the travel channel) says the wind is blowing at 30 knots.  No wonder the seas are rough (7.5 to 12 feet).  The last time I was in seas this rough was on a 90,000 ton ship.  The Voyager of the seas is about 50% bigger and does feel like it is moving less.  I miss the connection with the sea.  Besides being able to go outside and get a good feel for what the weather is like, I enjoy sitting on the balcony in the evening and typing my review.  My next cabin, on the Mariner of the Seas in about two months, is one of the prime hump balcony cabins.  At any rate, I get up and find that the shower is both hot and full pressure.  Then it is off to the Windjammer for a breakfast of consisting of eggs, bacon, fruit and juice.  However, after breakfast I explore the rest of the Windjammer and come across the cook to order omelet station at the rear of the Windjammer - with no line.  This is too good to resist, so I end up having a big breakfast.  After breakfast I decide to add to my picture collection and to do some souvenir shopping.  Soon it is 10am and time for our cabin crawl.  We get to see an inside, my PR cabin, a D & E balcony cabin, a junior suite and a grand suite.  I knew that the junior suites had walking closets, but was surprised to learn that the grand suites do not. At 11am it is time for the Meet & Mingle.  The CD is there.  When he asks if there are any questions, I cannot resist.  I ask when Los Angeles is going to get a Freedom class ship.  In case you don't know, about six weeks ago Royal Caribbean moved a Voyager class ship (the Mariner of the Seas) to Los Angles.  The CD tells us that he checks the online forums frequently and is well aware of the current hot button issues, including the Royal Champions and change in the perks for Diamond members. After the M&M we go for our slot pull.  Each person puts in $20 and at the end we end up about $1 ahead (we split the winnings and won enough for $21 per person).  After the slot pull I join my friends for lunch in the dinning room.  Shortly after lunch it is time for the ice show.  As in the past, the ice show is something special.  The tickets are free and I would rate it a must see.  Shortly after the ice show it is time for our first formal dinner.  Once again, dinner is very good and after dinner I get my picture taken with the captain and pose for one photo.  Then I meet up someone from the roll call for drinks before heading to the show.  The show tonight is Knight Magic, and he is fantastic.  Another must see.  Well, tomorrow I have an early morning date to walk on the ocean floor, so good night for now. Day three - Tuesday - Cozumel I wake up in time for sunrise.  However, it is too overcast, and the sunrise is not very photogenic.  A quick scan shows that we are following the Carnival Ecstasy and ahead of the Carnival Fantasy.   The Carnival Triumph is already docked.  We dock on time. Unfortunately it is very windy and most of the water activities, including my helmet dive are cancelled for safety reasons.  So I decide to head over to Chankanaab Park to take pictures, then I'll go to downtown.  This is my third time here and I've never been to the downtown area.  I see someone from the roll call and ask where they are headed.  They are headed to the same place I want to go.  So I ask if we can share a cab, and my $10 taxi fare is reduced to $5.  The cost to enter the park is $16.  I explore the park and discover a lagoon where there are fish.  I go to the nearby restaurant to see what breads I can buy.  I don't see anything on the menu that is going to provide me with the fish food I am after.  When the waiter asks me what I would like, I tell him all I want is some bread to feed the fish.  He tells me to wait and comes back with some crackers.  He is willing to give them to me for free, but I give him one dollar anyway.  Soon I have lots of fish swimming around where I am throwing the crackers, and I get some good fish photos, as well as several photos of the park.  I also decide to take advantage of hammocks and relax for a while.  The red flag is out, so no one is swimming in the ocean.  After a few hours I take a taxi to downtown, which costs $10.  I walk around downtown for about thirty minutes, and then I take a taxi back to the ship, which cost $7.  At this point I am hot, tired and hungry.  So I decide to head to the pool for a quick dip.  The pools are also most empty, and I have the pool all to myself.  After a quick dip I am just hungry and tired.  Unfortunately this ship does not have a pool side grill and the Windjammer has a dress code.  I need shoes and I didn't bring shoes to the pool.  So it is back to the cabin to get dressed, then back to Windjammer for a pasta lunch, including a stop at the cook to order pasta station.  Unfortunately my allegories are acting up and it is making me very tired.  So I decide to rest until the welcome back party at 4:45pm.  Then after that it is time for dinner.  And, since the ship has left the dock, the general store is open and I can buy some Benadryl.  The side effect is that it makes me sleepy.  However, that is preferable over having a stuffed nose.  Dinner is at 5:30.  I decide to opt for the optional $15 steak.  This is actually a $13 steak plus a $1.95 tip.  It is a Chops quality steak (there is no Chops on this ship).  Of course everyone wants to know what I thought of the steak.  Well, it was very good.  However, I don't think it is worth $15 more than the free steak because the free steak is also very good. Now, because of my allegories and the medication I was taking, I was very tired, so I just lay down and rest until it is time to go to sleep. Day four - Wednesday - Roatan, Honduras Today we (I and four others from the roll call) have arranged a private tour with Victor Bodden.  The tour we have arranged is very similar to the Pirates, Birds & Monkeys of the Caribbean ship tour.  However, this tour is about 30% less than the ship's tour.  In fact, at some of the stops we ran into some of the people that were on the ship's tour.  We had a tour of the island, stopped at an iguana farm, where the iguanas are so used to people that you can pet them (the wild iguanas at Chankanaab Park would run from people).  But my favorite was the monkey refuge.  The monkeys are not shy about jumping on people and checking out what is in their pockets.  One in the group got a great picture of me making a face while a monkey used my nose for a foot hold.  The tour was about four hours, cost $25 per person, plus $8 per person at the iguana farm and $2 per person at the monkey refuge.  It was a small group or five people and we could control the itinerary.  For example, since it was overcast, we skipped the beach stop.  You don't have this kind of control with a ship's tour. When we return I am still battling the effects of the Benadryl and decide to grab lunch and then rest up for the Murder Mystery Dinner, which begins at 7:45pm in the High Notes Nightclub on deck 14.  We meet the soon to be victim and the suspects.  Then we walk down to deck 11 and have dinner at Portofino.  The menu is scaled down, with only two choices, steak and seafood.  I had the steak which was very good.  During the dinner we learn who got shot.  Each table gets to ask one of the remaining suspects one question.  All the people who name the correct suspect are put into a drawing and nine names are drawn.  The winners get a prize.  I didn't name the correct suspect.  However, for reasons not explained, everyone at our table received a bottle of champagne.  The dinner is limited to people who are 13 and older.  The reason is obvious.  The dinner takes three hours.  One adult got tired of waiting and just left, leaving his wife to enjoy the dinner alone, and confusing the wait staff. After dinner I would have like to stay up for Fountains.  However, when I return to the cabin I realize I have signed up for a 7:15am ship tour.  I am still tired, so staying up late with an early morning tour is not an option.  Day five - Thursday - Costa Maya I am signed up for the ATV Jungle & Beach adventure.  Many of my firsts are done on ship tours.  The first time I rode a jet ski was at Labadee.  The first time I ride an ATV will be here at Costa Maya.  And the reason I choose the early morning tour is that I did not want to be doing this in the heat of the afternoon.  As it turns out, that was a wise choice.  While waiting for everyone to show up I see someone with a couple of squirrel monkeys.  For $5 he will take my picture using my camera with the two monkeys on my shoulder.  Sounds good to me.  He seems to me trying to get the monkey's attention, so I wiggle my finger in front of the monkey.  My reward is a bite.  The photos session continues without any further injury to me.  We get a quick lesson on how to drive the ATV and then off we go.  We start on a public road, which is good, as it gives me a good chance to get a feel for the vehicle.  When we go off road, I am expecting sand and dirt.  Instead what we get are rocks and tree roots.  I would not want to ride on a horse on this "road", let alone a small powerful vehicle.  I seem to be going up and down as much as I am going forward.  The throttle is controlled by the right thumb.  Each bump means a sudden change in the throttle setting.  A smooth application of power is impossible.  I finally shift to second just to cut down on leverage the motor has which at least smoothes it out a little bit.  Nonetheless, I end up with blisters on both hands as a result of the death grip I have.  My right arm is taking the worst of it because I also have to control the throttle with my right thumb.  Simply put, I am very happy when the off road portion of the trip is over.  We end up at a beach.  Some people take a quick dip.  I decide to check out the hammocks until it is time to go.  When we get back I pick up a couple of souvenirs and eye the pool that is available to cruise ship passengers.  However, I finally decide that I don't really want to go out to the pool with shoes that I would then have to keep an eye on, and I wasn't going to walk out to the pool without shoes.  So, once back on the ship I grab a quick lunch and then head out to the pool.  However, I decide that I would rather soak in the hot tub (which was more like a warm tub) then cool off in the pool.  To my surprise the little kids in the hot tub (I would guess four or five years old) are very friendly.  Unfortunately they only speak Spanish and I don't.  However, for some reason I am very interesting to one little girl.  She gets her father to translate.  She wants to know where I live and what my name is.  I have no idea why I was so interesting to this little girl, but I didn't mind.  Even her father seemed a little surprised when he tells me that his daughter asked him to translate for her.  I finish up the warm soak with a cool dip in the pool (the pool temperature is 77 degrees).  Then get ready for dinner.  It is Italian night, so I go with the pasta.  Toward the end of dinner the waiters and waitresses sing to us.  I've been off the Benadryl for about 24 hours now, so while I am not as sleepy, but my allergies are starting to come back.  Nonetheless, I am hopeful that I will not need to take the Benadryl.  Tonight's show doesn't interest me, so I decide to get plenty of sleep. Day six - Friday - day at sea Because I went to sleep early, I wake early.  I am on deck at 6:30am, however, the sun has already risen, so I take a few pictures just to prove I was up early and head off to the Windjammer for breakfast.  Actually the Windjammer is not even open yet, so I have to walk all the way back to the Island Grill, which offers the same menu plus it has a cook to order egg station.  Today I decide to get to eggs easy over.  Being a day at sea, most people are sleeping in and the pool deck, sun deck and Windjammer are mostly deserted.  Back to the cabin to wait for an important phone call.  The occupants of the Royal Suite are going to let me come over and take pictures.  Soon the call comes and I get plenty of pictures of the Royal Suite.  There are two others from the roll call also in the Royal Suite.  We talk a while and then they head off for BINGO.  I head back to the cabin to get my last two BINGO coupons and give them to the people playing BINGO.  Meanwhile I head off for some more shopping.  There are lots of good buys because in nine days the ship is headed for Europe.  Then back to the cabin to store my new found bounty, upload my pictures and bring this review up to date.  With my allergies acting up, my early rise and this being a (lazy) day at sea, I decide to just rest and watch a little Discovery Channel.  Then I head up to the pool deck to cool off.  After a nice swim it is time to return to the cabin for the last formal night.  We are treated to another delicious dinner.  In fact, the quality of the food has been the best I have had of my five Royal Caribbean cruises.  Most at the table order lobster, however, I'm a steak kind of a guy.  After dinner I decide to get in more photographs, as I only posed for two after the first formal dinner, and one of those never showed up. Then it is time for the production show.  It is a musical tribute to prior Oscar winners.  It is good, but I prefer a little more energy.  Then it back to the cabin to rest up for the final full day of the cruise, a second day at sea.  Day seven - Saturday - day at sea This time I am in no hurry to wake up.  Basically my goal is to just take it easy and pack.  Unfortunately the cruise ends tomorrow morning.  I booked a tour, so I'll have priority debarkation (which means getting up early) and a fairly inexpensive ride to the airport.  I have booked a late flight so that I can take the tour.  The two hour time difference works in my favor and I'll arrive back home at a reasonable time.  One of the things I did was to check out Adventure Beach.  This area does not exist on the Navigator or the Mariner.  The reason is that it was under used.  Basically it is a water play area for the pre-school crowd (the water is eight inches deep), and sure enough, there are not many using it.  On the Navigator and Mariner this area has been turned over to the teenagers, who have a back deck all to themselves along with a separate Fuel (teen disco) and Living Room (a place for the teens to just hang out).  So, what do I think of the cruise?  Well, as I said, I booked the PR cabin just so I could say that I have been in one.  However, I miss the opportunities a balcony provides for going outside and just relaxing or finding out what the weather is like.  So for now on, except for the short cruises, I'm going to book a balcony.  The food and service were fantastic .  I just wish my allergies had not acted up so much.  Next time I'll bring some over the counter stuff from home.  I liked the itinerary.  Not being able to go in the water in Cozumel was not a big deal to me.  I wanted a chance to explore Chankanaab Park and I took advantage of the change in plans.  I really enjoyed the monkeys, and if I am in Roatan again, I'll visit them again.  I'm glad I had the chance to experience an ATV, but that will be the last time.  I can see where this would be fun off road in sand or dirt.  But bouncing up and down on rocks and tree roots was not fun.  Unfortunately because of my allergies I did not do as much on the last two days as I would have normally, but then again, one of the reasons I enjoy cruising and sea days is the relaxation it affords, and I did get a chance to relax.  I just wish it had been more by choice rather than by how I physically felt.  Overall, I would give this cruise four out of five stars.  Day Eight - Sunday - debarkation day Debarkation did not go well.  Apparently this was Easter vacation in Mexico.  About one third of the passengers on the ship were from Mexico.  Of course there is nothing wrong with that.  However, non-citizens take longer to process than US citizens do, and since many of the Mexican citizens opted for self debarkation, things started out bad and remained that way.  I heard stories of people not clearing customs until early in the afternoon and people boarding the next cruise starting boarding much later than normal.  Fortunately I was on a ship sponsored excursion and so I was given priority.  In fact, they cleared the way for all of us on the tour.  The looks we received from some of the passengers still waiting in line was not what one would call a friendly look.  We visited NASA and a museum in Houston plus received a driving tour of Houston on the way to the airport.  Not only was it an inexpensive way to get to the airport, but the tour was pretty good also.  If you can take a late flight out of Houston then I recommend this tour.  If you can't take a late flight out of Houston, then I recommend that you don't take this cruise during Easter week.  As I look back on this review, it is not as long or detailed as usual.  Also, it does not normally take me six weeks to finish something that was ninety percent complete before the cruise was over.  However, I was Sneezy most of the cruise which made me Sleepy and Grumpy.  I feel like Dopey for not going to Doc earlier.  But I'm doing much better now, so I am Happy and a little Bashful about admitting that I waited four weeks to get my allergies taken care of once I got home.  Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
Voyager of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.5 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursions 3.5 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.5 4.2
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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