9 Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas Caribbean - Southern Cruise Reviews

In December of 2014 we cruised to the ABC Islands on the Voyager of the Seas. I had been looking forward to cruising once again with Royal Caribbean, since it had been 27 years since my last cruise on the "Song of Norway", but ... Read More
In December of 2014 we cruised to the ABC Islands on the Voyager of the Seas. I had been looking forward to cruising once again with Royal Caribbean, since it had been 27 years since my last cruise on the "Song of Norway", but realized very quickly that I had hit a "sour note" on the Voyager of the Seas! As soon as my husband and I boarded the ship we were asked what "class" we were and we replied giving our reservation information. Again, we were asked what "class" we were and at that point we realized there was a "Caste System" on this ship. Both my husband and myself are well-traveled (over 30 cruises) and usually cruise at least twice a year. Usually, we travel on Holland America, Celebrity or Carnival, but we were looking forward to trying Royal Caribbean. However, the "Caste System" was a huge disappointment! The "Caste System" to which I am referring to is Royal Caribbean's Award Program for frequent cruisers. I understand and applaud a cruise company that rewards their loyal patrons, but not at the expense of insulting possible future loyal cruisers, by placing people in a "Class" or "Caste System" when we all paid the same to be on the cruise. The entire week we were reminded what "Class" we were and where we couldn't sit, eat, drink, etc. etc. and the crew was rude and demeaning when enforcing the "Caste System"! The ports of call were great and the excursions were excellent. Also we enjoyed the entertainment on the ship. The food on this ship was horrible in the Main Dining Room. The Fish was overcooked and had no flavor. Johnny Rockets was the highpoint of our dining experience. The buffet on the Promenade was nasty, i.e. turkey spread? Who eats such food!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The Good: This was our first time on Royal Caribbean and was so excited after hearing about their reputation. Voyager is an absolutely beautiful ship, very nicely laid out with many good shows and several things to do on board. The music ... Read More
The Good: This was our first time on Royal Caribbean and was so excited after hearing about their reputation. Voyager is an absolutely beautiful ship, very nicely laid out with many good shows and several things to do on board. The music was good and getting on and off the ship in New Orleans was easy. The Bad: Food: My food rating is a C the food was just okay, but access and selection was very limited and I give a D. Food was not available 24/7 except by room service and that came with an additional charge late at night. Coffee at best was very bad, in fact we went to their coffee shop and had to pay for coffee that was better than what was free, but still not great. Here is one day actual menu in the Flute dinning room: Potato Gnocchi, Roasted Turkey, Grilled NY Strip Steak, Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Calzone, or Panner Makhanwala. This was a typical menu for this dinning room. The buffet hours were very limited and the menu was limited compared to other cruises I have been on. They had specialty restaurants, that require additional charges like Johnny Rockets which is just a classy McDonalds with hamburgers, fries, and milk shakes. The Ugly: It was very hard to get answers from any RCI staff including from corporate office. Leaving New Orleans a big percentage were Saints fans. Many fans including my wife checked more than once before booking the cruise to see if the Saints game would be aired on board and was told yes. When we got to our room we noticed the game listed was the Giants game, but the staff on ship said the Saints would be on. Who Dats filled the sports bars ready for the game and were not happy to find out they were lied to by everyone at RCI. My wife and I ended up paying 60 dollars just to listen to the game on WWL online during the second half. Two of the ports were not good, Jamaica and Grand Cayman there was very little to do outside of finding a beach. Jamaica was scary and not safe. We heard many times to be very careful and stay with large numbers or get robbed. Cozumel was fantastic as always. The ship could have just docked there for 3 days and saved a lot of fuel. With all things considered it turned out to be a disappointing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Let me start with my cruise history. The Voyager of the Seas was my first Royal Caribbean experience but I have cruised three other times. One time each with Carnival and Celebrity and once on a small ship no longer in service. We are a ... Read More
Let me start with my cruise history. The Voyager of the Seas was my first Royal Caribbean experience but I have cruised three other times. One time each with Carnival and Celebrity and once on a small ship no longer in service. We are a family of 4 with my kids DS 11 and DD 14. Over all I would rate Royal Caribbean just where I figured it would fall, right in between Celebrity and Carnival. I am going to lump the first and last day together and then give my thoughts on everything else. This was the reposition cruise of the Voyager of the Seas from Bayonne, NJ to Miami with stops at Labadee and Aruba. We left our house at about 3:30 pm on November 16 and headed off to Newark, NJ to stay at the Best Western because we had a parksleepflycruise deal. For $155 we got a hotel room, transfers, breakfast, and parking for 10 nights. The hotel is right across from the airport but is not very attractive, but the rooms were bigger than expected and clean enough for one night. The breakfast was good with a wide selection of food. Day 1 -- We woke up to some cold weather with temps in the 30's. Had a nice breakfast and sat in the hotel room for a couple of hours. Once the time came to leave we checked out and sat for over an hour down in the hotel lobby. We were finally able to load our van at about 11:15 am and headed off to the terminal. It was only a 15 minute drive so we arrived at the VOS by 11:30. Check in went smooth with the set sail pass plus the fact we went through the suite line because we had a JS. We were easily on board by 12:00 and were able to go right to our cabin and drop off our bags. We had many hours to explore this huge ship and attempt to learn where everything was so I would not get lost. Muster drill began at 4:30 and we were supposed to leave by that time. An announcement was made that we would set sail by 5:30 which I was not happy about because I had main seating at 6:00 and I wanted to watch us go under the Verazzano Narrows Bridge. We actually ended up sailing off at about 5:50 so I missed the one thing I was looking forward to the most . Day 2 -- Sea Day. Temps were still in the 60's so it was to cold for my blood to swim but I was still able to enjoy a round or two of golf. First formal night and I saw a wide range of attire. Day 3 -- Sea Day. Finally some warm weather since we were in the Bahamas and heading toward Labadee. Day 4 -- Today is the day that we arrived in Labadee but an hour later than scheduled due to the fact that we did not leave Bayonne on time. The weather was in the high 80s which was good because I always heard how hot it was there and I was a bit scared. The tender process went very smooth and we were off the ship only a few minutes after docking. We spent the greater part of the day at Hideaway Beach sharing a beach mat and then took a side trip to Dragons Breath. The beaches are very nice but be warned of the rough sand and rocks in the water. BRING WATER SHOES! The food was very good and my DH enjoyed the BBQ ribs. The marketplace was the worst shopping experience I ever had. Talk about pushy. I had my DH do the shopping for what he wanted and I stayed away. Day 5 -- Sea day. We had nice weather with temps in the 80's and were able to enjoy the pools and outdoor activities. Day 6 -- Finally Aruba with temps is the high 80's. I have wanted to visit this island for years but I am sorry to say was let down. I took the Banana Bus Tour to all the hot spots . Our driver, AL was very informative and we had fun on the way back to the ship with music blasting and maracas and tambourines. I found Aruba to be very dirty and broken beer bottles all over especially at the California Lighthouse. We took a walk after dark off the ship and headed toward Carlos and Charlies and heard a good time going on in there but did not venture in. Its on a pretty dark street and my son was getting scared because he know about Aruba's recent headlines. The dinner in Aruba was lobster so my DH was glad we stayed on board but many passengers were not happy they missed one of the best loved meals. Day 7 -- Happy Thanksgiving. It was very odd waking up on this holiday on a ship. I never even thought about what day it was until I went into the Windjammer and saw the carved turkey. We had our second formal night and I saw many more people dressed up this time. It must have been because of the holiday. Day 8 -- I hate the last full sea day because you need to pack and you know that your vacation is almost over. Day 9 -- What a long day. We were given the wrong colored luggage tags so we ended up having to carry our luggage off the ship which is not an easy task. We then had to carry it one terminal over, so we could drop them off at the American Airlines check in. That did make life easy once we ditched the bags and we got our boarding passes which made life easy at the airport. We took JMS limo service and although the company was OK, I would not use them again. One of the families that I was sharing the bus with got off the ship rather late and the driver left us for a while to take someone else to the airport. He did come back to get us when promised but we had an accident outside the airport terminal. He was parking the bus and almost ended up pinning a man between our bus and his truck. Not a great way to end a trip. Royal Caribbean .. Review Bayonne, smooth and easy entrance to the ship. Windjammer and Island Grill - average to say the least. I would have liked to have seen a different food offered for breakfast and lunch as the days went on instead of the same thing over and over. I also like the idea of having an area to eat outside and the VOS only had that in Johnny Rockets. The staff on Celebrity was faster at removing used plates and was more readily available to carry your tray. Dining Room - We had table 500 in the Magic Flute. Our dining staff Vincent and Sal were wonderful and our head waiter made his rounds several nights. The food was OK, but Celebrity once again edges out because of the selections they offered such as quail. Promenade Cafe - very friendly staff and the cookies are great. Pizza on Carnival was the best so far. Johnny Rockets - I was not even going to eat here but we decided to give it a try. Food was good and the singing and dancing was fun to watch. It is a good gimmick and was worth the $3.95 charge. Kids - 800 were on board and you knew it. Every where you looked kids were running around and riding the elevators for the fun of it. We also had a table behind us in the DR that had 4 young girls eating alone while the parents were at a near by table. They through items over the railings, stood on their chairs and were very demanding. We commented on this with the head waiter and our table was moved back some and I believe he spoke to the parents because although they were not perfect they did get better the following night. Entertainment - Celebrity wins this section too. Although I enjoyed the two shows, Celebrity had better costumes and props. Cabin JS 1394 - I loved the size of the balcony and cabin but was let down because I never really got any sun because it is all covered. I also did not seem to use it enough to warrant getting a balcony again. Room Steward - Wilburn - It was hard to know I even had one. He was never around but somehow managed to make the room twice a day. I would like to give a shout out to Arlene down the hall though. She was always there to say hello and ask how are day went and she was not even ours! CD - Allan Brooks - Becky was supposed to be back for this cruise but we still had AB. He was good but I still don't see what the big deal is about a CD. Ice Show - DON'T MISS I am still amazed that I was sitting in the middle of the ocean watching a skating show. Wonderful. Adventure Ocean - I wish that they would have had a club area that separated the teens into two groups. The younger teens are put with the older teens and that a bad mix. I would also like to see more activities in the evening and are age appropriate. My 11 year old did not want to do anything with Adventure Ocean because he said they were childish. Overall, I found Royal Caribbean to be a step down from Celebrity but a step up from Carnival and although it was not my favorite cruise of all time, we had fun and enjoyed ourselves and I did book another cruise while on board only this time, back to my favorite island - Bermuda on the Empress of the Seas. If you are looking for a ship that has something for everyone, the Voyager Class is great. My kids loved all the activities but I know that I would be perfectly happy on a smaller ship and I have my doubts I would try the Freedom. Pictures --- http://photoshow.comcast.net/watch/se9DU6sT?sk=66974b7609c12b58a9cf215b5a778d5d Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
This was our third RCCL cruise and our first on a Voyager class ship. We personally loved the ship. This ship is really big and so many things to do. We never got bored, but did get turned around and went the wrong direction, numerous ... Read More
This was our third RCCL cruise and our first on a Voyager class ship. We personally loved the ship. This ship is really big and so many things to do. We never got bored, but did get turned around and went the wrong direction, numerous times! This was a repositioning itinerary so we only had 2 ports. The first was Aruba and the 2nd, Labadee, RCCL's private port of call. We thoroughly enjoyed both. Labadee was very relaxing and enjoyable. We parasailed, which was great, and then had a wonderful barbecue lunch, with ribs, chicken, burgers and all the fixings. We then spent a brief time in the shopping area and then more relaxing on the beach and in the beautiful water. Aruba was very enjoyable, especially since we had a full day and into the night before having to board the ship. We took a full day Land Rover excursion across the entire island, which included 2 snorkel stops and lunch. This we booked on our own over the internet and it worked out great. The ship is beautiful with all the wonderful art work and sculptures. We tried out the rock wall climbing, in-line skating, workout gym and aerobic class. It was all fun. We had the late dinner seating and were at a table of 11. We met wonderful people from New Jersey and Scotland and had an excellent waiter and assistant waiter. They made it so enjoyable to go to dinner each evening. I only have a few complaints, which were pretty minor to us. First of all our beds were extremely worn out and sagging, but our room steward was very nice and helpful. I think RCCL needs to spring for a few new mattresses!! The other thing was the breakfast buffet. The food was quite poor. My husband loves bacon, but he said it tasted spoiled and couldn't eat it. Even the scrambled eggs and hashbrowns were not good. I mostly ate fresh fruit for breakfast, so I did OK. The lunch buffets were adequate and I liked the salad bar. Our evening meals were quite good and the staff always willing to please. One thing we really liked about this ship was that they kept one pool and one hot tub open 24hrs. We made a few trips to the hot tub at 2 a.m. and it was so relaxing. Overall, this has been one of our best cruises ever. After being on 9 other cruises, it will be hard to go on another smaller ship without all the activities available. Oh, I almost forgot about the entertainment. The ice show was spectacular. We also saw several comedians, magician and the original Drifters. We were very pleased with the entertainment. Can't wait to sail again on a Voyager class ship!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
This was our first time on RCCL's Voyager Class ship. (repositioning cruise May 7th, 2005) Boarding took between 2 and 3 hours, one of the holdups was the photographers taking everyone's picture before they could board the ... Read More
This was our first time on RCCL's Voyager Class ship. (repositioning cruise May 7th, 2005) Boarding took between 2 and 3 hours, one of the holdups was the photographers taking everyone's picture before they could board the ship. But that's ok because Royal Caribbean handed out a few cookies to some of the passengers while they stood in line waiting. Once on board, we went to the Windjammer and ate lunch while our room was being prepped for our arrival. The room was a balcony, small and clean with a safe to keep your valuables. The interior of the ship is like a mall, featuring many gift shops, cigarettes, alcohol, watches, T shirts and my favorite.... Ben and Jerry's ice cream parlor. After loosing in the Casino I would retreat to Ben and Jerry's for a new flavor and an attitude adjustment. The Casino was large and had Blackjack, Craps, Poker machines, and a very large variety of slot machines. The Casino was tight, I could stand and watch as people plunked in hundred dollar bills and won nothing. (Tight Slots) I lost my passion for gambling during this cruise. The rock wall was actually very cool, I tried my luck to ring the bell at the top and failed half way through, then I tried again on the last day of the cruise and made it within 4 feet and didn't make it to the bell again. In my opinion if you have the guts to try the rock climbing wall you're a winner automatically! Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
Following is our review of our Repositioning Cruise on the Voyager of the Seas. (We've never written one of these, so here goes . . .) Embarkation: Slight delay due to the ship not clearing US Customs in Miami. Not a big deal. We ... Read More
Following is our review of our Repositioning Cruise on the Voyager of the Seas. (We've never written one of these, so here goes . . .) Embarkation: Slight delay due to the ship not clearing US Customs in Miami. Not a big deal. We were able to check in, got our Seapass card. We were sent to a line to wait to embark and only waited about 40 minutes. We were on board slightly before 1 p.m., which worked out great, since the cabins aren't available until then anyway. All in all, not a bad process. Sail Away: This was fun. Due to a delay in loading some baggage, we left a bit late, which I think worked out great because we got to watch Navigator leave. It was great fun watching all of the passengers on her decks waving to us. The ships both blew their whistles to each other which added to the fun. As we sailed out of the channel in Miami, there were a lot of cars parked on the side of the road with people waving as we passed. Cabin: We found out we had been upgraded to a Junior Suite -- Cabin 9568 on Deck 9. This cabin was very large, with a large walk-in closet, big bathroom, with a tub, and tons of storage. It also had a very large balcony. The only down-side was a big stain on the carpet (looked like someone spilled a daiquiri there). Overall, the cabin appearance was quite good and it appeared clean (no -- we didn't take a black light to it - kind of afraid to go that far!!) Another nice touch was that there was a volume control so you could turn off the announcements. Our cabin attendant was Gerry. Dining Room: We had Second Seating, a table for 6 (Table 416), in La Boheme, which was on Deck 4. Our table was tucked into a corner, by a floor to ceiling window. We shared our table with four other people, a couple from New Jersey (Hi Marty & Cathy) and a couple from Virginia (Hi Ron & Rachel). Wonderful group of people. We truly enjoyed our time together and hope to see them again in the future!! Our waiter was Nicki and assistant waiter was Michael. Wonderful service. Nicki had a smile that would light up the room. Also happy to see everyone. Between the two of them, our service was excellent. We thought the food in the main dining room was quite good, and plentiful. The room itself is just beautiful (we like it better than Britannia on QM2). Portofinos: We had dinner in Portofinos one evening. Excellent. The room is beautiful, food and service both excellent. Highly recommend this restaurant. Johnny Rockets: This was fun. The food was good but the service lacked a bit because the waiters are singing & dancing so the food sits around for awhile before it gets served. Cover charge wasn't bad and did seem to keep the crowds down (except on the last sea day - we walked by and there was a long line). Other Dining Venues: Other venues included the Windjammer Cafe and the Island Grill (Voyager doesn't have Chops). These were nice, with the ambience edge going to the Island Grill, with very nice dEcor and windows overlooking the stern of the ship. Public Rooms: Schooner Bar: This was our favorite. We went there each night for pre-dinner cocktails. There were two servers there, Volkan, from Turkey, and Vinka, from Chile, who were an absolute treat. They knew both Jack and my names, as well as our drink preference (chocolate martinis!). The feel of this room is quite nice, with some seats by the windows to sit back and enjoy the view. A couple of nights, Janet from the cruise activity staff was there to do Team Trivia, which was a lot of fun. Aquarium Bar: Only went here once. Nice space, with large aquariums. Service was good, but unfortunately, I don't remember who helped us (as we only went there the one time). The space is nice, but we noticed that the room is a bit tattered around the edges (mostly some stains on the furniture). Nothing to diminish the enjoyment - just an observation. Champagne Bar: Very nice space. Never had a drink there -- but very attractive. La Scala Theatre: Beautiful room spanning decks 3 and 4. We tended to sit on the Deck 4 seating area. We saw the two production shows -- Dreamscape and Vibeology. Both were excellent, but I preferred Vibeology, but only because I really liked the songs that sang. A highlight was a back-stage tour conducted on the last sea day. The Sound Engineer and two of the dancers conducted the tour. We got to go on stage, and back-stage to see where all of the props are kept, the dressing areas, how the flying harnesses are rigged and just how much time the performers have (or don't have) to do costume changes. Apparently one of the singers -- E Jay, was on the first season of American Idol (don't watch the show, so I wasn't sure. Verified that on the website though). Cleopatra's Needle: Very attractive space done in an Egyptian motif. This is a smaller venue that held Bingo, dancing, and Karaoke. The Karaoke was a blast. We missed the first night but the semi-finals and finals were a lot of fun. In the finals, the singers actually sang with a live band -- the Liza Hendrix Experience. Some of the performers were very good - hats off to anyone who has the guts to get up and sing in front of people though! The Liza Hendrix Experience was pretty good - really rocked out. We enjoyed them. Sight lines in the room are a bit compromised due to pillars, and they could use a slightly better ventilation system as the room tends to get warm and smoke isn't vented too quickly. Studio B: This is the ice rink. Very industrial feel to this space, which seems to work well. We saw the Ice Jammin' show. Excellent. Highly recommended. Royal Promenade: This is a very nice space with shops, cafes and bars, as well as the Guest Relations desk. They had 3 parades (we attended 2), which are very high energy and fun. I really enjoyed the New Orleans style parade. We liked the "look-outs" on decks 6, 7, and 8 in the elevator lobbies that overlook the promenade. We did drop some money at the Logo Shop. We purchased the "making of" DVD, a book of interior photos of RCI and Celebrity ships and some Christmas Ornaments. Voyager had a wonderful selection of ornaments! We steered away from the clothing as most of it had iron on decals, which I think is kind of cheap. They didn't break out the embroidered items until later in the cruise when they were on sale for 50% off. Fitness Center/Spa: The gym was OK -- nothing too spectacular. It had a small pool/hot tub (couldn't quite tell - was too warm for a pool but too cool for a hot tub). The spa didn't do much for us. We both had a massage, but found them unremarkable. No upsell on products or services though, as I've heard happened to some other folks. Wouldn't go back for a massage. We kept comparing it to the Canyon Ranch on QM2 and that was just superior. Solarium: This was the adults only pool area, done in a Romanesque motif. It was usually pretty crowded, but it was really a nice area to just sit and read a book while working on your tan. Main Pool: Very crowded, but fun. Live music much of the day, with bar service at your chair if you wish. Chair Hogs: There was some evidence of this happening but it didn't seem too pervasive. Sports Deck: This area was a lot of fun, even though we didn't rock climb or do the in-line skating. We did play a little basketball (badly) and did the miniature golf which was fun. Ports: We had two ports on this cruise as it was a repositioning cruise. We specifically booked it for the amount of sea days. Aruba: We docked in Aruba and stayed until 1 a.m. We only booked on shore excursion - the Atlantis Submarine. What an experience. We dove down to 150 feet and got to see the coral reef and all of the sea life. The guide was quite informative, pointing out different types of sea life and coral types. After that, we just bummed around town all day. We went to Carlos & Charlie's (but only for lunch!) and then to Iguana Joes for a Mohido later. We enjoyed the port but went back on board at around 4 p.m. to enjoy the pool deck in relative quiet. We got back off at around sunset to try and get some pictures of Voyager all lit up. There was a deck party and buffet from 11:30 - 1 (ish). The buffet looked good, but we didn't eat any of it (there's only so much food we could eat). Labadee: We were pleasantly surprised. We had low expectations for this port, but it was really a lot of fun. They had a lot of beaches to enjoy (the further from the main beach, the less crowded they were). We didn't do any excursions here. We just enjoyed the beach and water. There was lunch served. Live music. Any number of things to do - wave runners, para-sailing, banana boat, water park, etc. This was a tendered port but it was really easy as they have at least 3 large capacity tenders stationed shore side to do this. Various: Cruise Director: Becky Thompson was the Cruise Director. What a hoot. She has more energy than I've seen in a long time! If anyone sees Becky on an upcoming cruise, be sure to say "Hello Luv!". Kids: We had a large number of children & teenagers on this cruise. RCI has a great kids program that kept the children occupied. As for the teenagers, we had no problems. Very well behaved and polite for the most part. Announcements: Too many, too loud. If I never hear it's Bingo time again, I will be happy. But at least we could turn the announcements off in the cabin. Service in General: We found the service overall to be excellent; very attentive. We did hear that Voyager will be deployed to Barcelona in May 2006 and that Explorer will take her place. We're still hoping for a Voyager Class on the West Coast (the rumor is that Navigator is coming - we'd be very happy with that!!!) Debarkation: The process of getting off of the ship seemed to go OK (but we're easy going). The facilities in Bayonne definitely need to be updated. We did have one minor heart-attack - we couldn't find one of our bags once we got to the terminal. We feared it may have been accidentally picked up by someone else. We had about 6 workers from the terminal help us and they were able to find it. I was impressed that so many people just jumped in and helped (and all with a smile - very nice). Getting transportation to the airport was a breeze though. No complaints. Overall impression: We enjoyed this cruise very much and would do it again in a heartbeat. Was it perfect? No. Was it fun? Absolutely! The staff was wonderful and the people we met on board were a lot of fun too. Voyager could use a bit of sprucing up in some areas (some upholstery on chairs/sofas in public rooms, carpets in cabins) but nothing that would diminish from the experience. As a matter of fact, they were replacing carpets in the stairwells during the cruise so we had that "new ship" smell in a couple of areas! We are impressed with the quality of the product Royal Caribbean has produced and will definitely sail her again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
This is just an "add-on" to our new friend, Ernie's, review of the October 22nd Voyager of the Seas cruise. My husband and I agreed with all of Ernie's opinions but there were a few things he didn't comment on so ... Read More
This is just an "add-on" to our new friend, Ernie's, review of the October 22nd Voyager of the Seas cruise. My husband and I agreed with all of Ernie's opinions but there were a few things he didn't comment on so we're just giving our views on the spa/gym, miniature golf course, ice rink, inline track, the screening room movies, and the Quest/50's Dance Party. About the spa/gym, miniature golf course, ice rink, inline track: I thought there was a good variety of equipment in the gym and it was in excellent shape. However, I was surprised that there was a $10 charge for some of the fitness activity classes. I didn't attend any so I can't give an opinion on how good they were. My husband and I enjoyed playing miniature golf twice, even though we scored way over par. I (ice) skated on the first morning of the cruise and I would recommend to future Voyager ice skaters that they don't try it while they're in the Atlantic. Wait until you get to the Caribbean Sea. In the Atlantic, with the roll of the ship, you skate uphill, then you go "Wheee!" downhill. I didn't get to roller blade because the track was closed due to wetness the two times I wanted to try it out. It would be great if RCI put the track, the miniature golf course, and the basketball court under a retractable roof like Carnival has for one of their pools on the Carnival Triumph class ships. About the movie theater on Deck 2: Most of our cruises (13) have been on Carnival. We have only been on two RCI cruises and we didn't go to the theater on the first one. Seeing a movie in the theater was an enjoyable experience but there were a few problems at the start: 1) the staff member who was supposed to let us into the theater didn't show up and we waited about 20 minutes past the start time, 2) when we did get in, we were told that they would be showing a different movie because something had happened to the tape (dvd) of the movie that was planned, and 3) we watched the first part of the movie with the sound turned down way too low. This was remedied after someone in the audience reported it. Also, if you go, I would recommend that you get there early so you can be at the front of the line and get seats on the aisle. There isn't much slant and I had two tall people sitting in front of me. About the Quest and the 50's party: It was fabulous entertainment, especially if you are with a group. Overall, we really enjoyed this cruise and have already booked another cruise on the VOS. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
I just disembarked from the VOYAGER OF THE SEAS a few days ago. The 8-day cruise began on October 22, 2004 from the new Royal Caribbean terminal in Bayonne, NJ (Cape Liberty) and ending in Miami. In between were only two ports, Labadee, ... Read More
I just disembarked from the VOYAGER OF THE SEAS a few days ago. The 8-day cruise began on October 22, 2004 from the new Royal Caribbean terminal in Bayonne, NJ (Cape Liberty) and ending in Miami. In between were only two ports, Labadee, Haiti (RCI's private beach) and Aruba. We also spent 3-days in NY prior to the cruise which was a lot of fun. I had the pleasure of meeting up in the Village with a fellow ship enthusiast who frequents the cruise boards as well a wonderful friend whom I met onboard QM2 in May. It's been almost five years since I've sailed on a Voyager Class ship, and in fact it was VOYAGER OF THE SEAS when she was only a few months old. I was impressed with the ship back then and wrote a review at the time. You can read it from this link if you like. http://www.sealetter.com/Mar-00/voy1900.html So how is VOYAGER holding up five years later? I would say very well! The ship itself is truly stunning and I'm once again convinced the Voyager Class is the best thing sailing in the contemporary 7-day market. Nothing really compares from a hardware perspective, not even QM2. I bring up QM2 only because she was my last cruise and because she overtook the "world's largest" title from the Voyager Class. VOYAGER's overall design, quality of materials, art, amenities, innovations, layout, etc. are truly unmatched. I'll even go as far to suggest that VOYAGER offers an overall superior design to QM2. VOYAGER just works, and very well. I still prefer QM2 overall, but only because I'm enamored by her "ocean liner" feel, quirky qualities, uniqueness, and spaciousness. Of course QM2 is designed for the luxury market as opposed to mass-market, so the fact I can even compare VOYAGER to QM2 speaks very highly of VOYAGER. I'll admit there were times that VOYAGER felt crowded, but for the most part only in elevators at peak times and when a show let out. Otherwise the ship is designed so well that I never had to wait in buffet lines or had trouble getting a deck chair, even at peak times. Food and service were quite good for a 3000+ passenger ship. We dined with friends in the Carmen Dining room (first level) during the second sitting. I was quite pleased with the food, presentation, and service. To be honest I'm pretty easy to please, and I don't find the food and service on these massive mega-ships to be that different, regardless of the cruise line. The buffet also had a decent selection and as I mentioned earlier I never had to wait in line which was a plus. I didn't try Portofino's this time as I was quite satisfied with the food in the dining room. We did eat twice at Johnny Rocket's, and on both occasions we experienced great food and service (if you like excellent hamburgers and fries). There is currently no charge for Johnny Rocket's (except for drinks), but this is changing as soon Royal Caribbean will implement a charge. Frankly I don't mind as I would rather pay the $3.95 service fee to decrease the wait times. Johnny Rocket's was one place where there were long lines, and this was not the case five years ago when Royal Caribbean had a charge in place. Entertainment was top notch. There were three production shows and of course the ice skating show not to mention two parades and the usual bands and singers. Was I jaded after seeing the ice show five years ago? No way! It was incredible and completely redesigned. It's by far the best form of entertainment I've seen on any ship. Not to be missed! The other shows were quite good as well, as good if not better than shows I've seen on other mega-ships. I've never paid much attention to the cruise director on any of my past cruises, and in fact I couldn't even begin to tell you what their names are. I do think I will remember Richard Spacey, the CD onboard VOYAGER. He was quite entertaining, unusually young, and not bad to look at either! Probably the best CD I've come across yet. Be sure to watch some of the entertaining videos he has put together, such as "24 hours in the life of a cruise director", and his skit that is shown prior to his entrance during the farewell show. They are not to be missed. We were lucky to be assigned a wheelchair accessible balcony cabin on Deck 7. This cabin is about the same size as a Junior Suite, but in category E2 (standard balcony). It was huge as was the bathroom and double size balcony. Needless to say we quite enjoyed it. Stateroom service was very good, and we had a husband/wife housekeeping team which was rather unique. Weather was good although the last two days were cloudy with a few showers. It was my first time in Aruba and I hope to return someday. I was pleasantly surprised by this non-typical Caribbean island. Labadee, Royal Caribbean's private beach on the island of Haiti is looking better than ever. RCI has invested a fair bit of capital and resources into the beach and it shows. A big improvement over five years ago. I can't leave out the most important aspect of this great cruise, and that was the people. I was lucky enough to be joined by a couple of friends met on previous cruises, and also had the pleasure of meeting many new friends. About 20 of us were communicating prior to the cruise on a message board, and we almost felt like we knew each other before we even met. These types of acquaintances don't always work out as expected, but thankfully that was not the case on this cruise. We all got along famously and had many, many laughs, great times ..... and many, many drinks together! It was great fun and I hope to cruise with this group again. You all know who you are. I hate dragging my camera around, so I didn't get too many people pictures. Hopefully I'll add some once pictures turn up from others in the group that did carry their camera around (thank you!!). I did tour the ship one afternoon when most passengers were ashore and took pictures of just about every area of the ship. VOYAGER is such an attractive and innovative ship, I felt a photo tour was worthwhile. As it turns out, I took 217 photos and they take up 14 pages on my photo site. Have a look if you are interested at the following link. If you are planning to cruise on VOYAGER they will give you a great idea of what the ship looks like. I also tried to capture a few areas that you don't see everyday. I hope you enjoy them. http://public.fotki.com/eroller/voyager_of_the_seas/ In closing I would not hesitate to sail on a Voyager Class ship and Royal Caribbean in the future. Royal Caribbean offers a rock solid product on the most innovative ships afloat. Because the ships are so innovative and attractive, I would put Royal Caribbean a notch higher than Carnival, Princess, and NCL ... it's closest competitors. I found food and service to be a tad bit better on Carnival, but superior to recent cruises on Princess and especially NCL. Of course food and service are subjective and tend to vary from ship to ship, so your experience and opinions may differ which is fine. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Ernie Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
Overall impression -- This was our first time on RCCL. To be honest, I was originally skeptical about cruising with over 3000 passenger on a mega-ship. However after return from the most relaxing 10 days of my life, we can't to our ... Read More
Overall impression -- This was our first time on RCCL. To be honest, I was originally skeptical about cruising with over 3000 passenger on a mega-ship. However after return from the most relaxing 10 days of my life, we can't to our next cruise on VOS. Embarkation -- Living only 10 minutes from the former cruise port on the west side of Manhattan, I was somewhat inconvenienced by VOS leaving from Bayonne, especially since I had read negative postings on this board regarding this port. In actuality, I gladly sacrificed the extra time traveling to Bayonne because of the highly organized operation at Bayonne that was unlike the chaos in the New York port. I couldn't believe that our car service which arrived at the terminal at around 1:30 p.m. just pulled in to a parking space directly opposite the terminal, we unloaded our luggage and a porter was there to immediately take them away. In NY, cars were backed up in order to reach the terminal, then you had to double park, as near to your ship as possible, quickly unload your luggage, and wait for 10 minutes or more to hail a porter to take your bags and pray they got on the right ship. With only the VOS leaving, we did not have to worry about that mistake being made Since my DW is in a wheelchair, we were fortunate to have priority boarding, Within 20 minutes we had our boarding cards and where on the bus to take us to the ship. When we arrive at the ship a porter took my DW off the bus and pushed the wheelchair onto the ship and directly to our stateroom. What an efficient embarkation and what consideration for me and my DW I must admit that the lines for non-priority boarding seemed to be much longer arranged by deck number. I therefore can say how long they had to wait before boarding, Our stateroom -- We were celebrating our 28th anniversary so I paid to have the stateroom decorated for the occasion. Therefore as soon as we opened the door, my DW and I saw streamers, balloons, wedding bell garlands and a big congratulation sign hanging from the ceiling. My DW was surprised and very excited. It was a great way to start off our anniversary cruise. I also ordered champagne and chocolate strawberries and a tropical flower bouquet (which lasted the entire 10 days). We saved the champagne in the mini-ridge until our last evening of our cruise, and they served it to everyone at our table. A 6" cake also came with the decoration package and that too was served on our anniversary with a candle and a group of waiters and our table-mates singing to us. What a wonderful way to end a perfect anniversary vacation. We were in a junior suite which was large by cruise standards. It had a double bed, relatively large bathroom with bathtub and nice size sitting area, plenty of drawer space and a large walk-in in closet with one wall of shelves and another for hanging our clothes. As usual, we had over-packed so the walk-in closet was also was able to accommodate our three large suitcases. The balcony was a nice size and had two chairs separated by a small table and a lounge chair. I spent many relaxing hours on the balcony watching the seas and beautiful blue sky and clouds while reading my book or listening to soothing music on my CD player. We were on the starboard side of the ship so going down we saw the sun set and coming back we saw the sun rise and got sun during most of the day. The biggest benefit for me, who had to push my wife in her wheelchair, was that the stateroom was mid-ship, very close to the elevators that led to the dining room, windjammer and casino. Our stateroom attendant was very accommodating to our needs. We were especially amused each night that we returned to our cabin by the towel animals she created toward the end of the cruise Dining -- We had requested and received early sitting and a table of 8. We were on the third floor of the dining room (Magic Flute) at a very congenial table, consisting of a family of 4 from PA and another couple from CT and ourselves. To show how much we enjoyed each other's company, we were always the last table to leave the dining room Our waiter, a young woman from the Philippines was very sweet and went out of her way to be accommodating. One of our table-mates had an allergy to eggs and mayonnaise and was a diabetic and she always made sure to serve him food that he could tolerate We only ate in the dining room for dinner (although the others went there for breakfast and lunch on the 3rd floor -open seating). The only way to describe the food was fantastic. There many occasion in which I and others had two starters, a salad, entrEe and of course dessert. Not only did you have the choice of the daily entrees, but also alternate entrEe choose such as pasta baked chicken, salmon, and Black Angus steak the you could choose if you didn't like any of the entrees of the day. The daily entrees included prime ribs, rack of lamb, lamb and veal shank, mai- mai, veal parmesan, chicken picata, and of course lobster tail, just to name a few. Several times during the cruise the entire dinner room staff sang and even danced for us. They really tried hard to entertain us. We started to have breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer but when it was closed because of the grilled lunch served on the private island in Haiti; we found a cafe on deck 5 that we frequented from then on. They had pizza and wonderful sandwiches, delicious coffee and fabulous desserts. We never made it to any of the midnight buffets. We were still working off our dinner and relaxing in our cabin. Entertainment -- By far the best entertainment was the ice show. It is amazing what the skaters could do on the small rink. Beware though to get your tickets the second day of the cruise because they are very strict about not allowing people in without a ticket. There were two comedians, of which we only saw one He sang comedic parodies that he had written and was very amusing and had been in show business for 50 years. We saw the first production show by the singers and dancers that reminded me someway of a bad copy of circus solei. We missed the second show which focused on Broadway show tunes. We missed the magician who supposed was terrific and saw the juggler replayed on TV. As usual the most hilarious show was love and marriage that followed the ice show (I think) which we also saw replayed on a TV. The couple married 60 years was just precious. This is one area where Beck the Cruise Director did a great job. The final solo act was a group that was intentionally Beatles copycats. I walked out toward the beginning of the production. Sorry there is nothing like the real thing! The Casino -- My wife loooooooooooooooves to play the quarter slots. The casino had almost 300 slot machines. She was in the casino every afternoon that we were not in port; she and I were in the casino and every one of the 9 nights. That is why we missed certain of the shows because she preferred to go to the casino after dinner when it was less crowded. The good news was that she hit ca $800 jackpot and, believe or not, after playing for 9 consecutive days came home ahead $600. She was in her glory. She is the type that takes it very seriously if she is losing. So I am so glad that she had a positive experience, otherwise, it would have truly put a damper on her trip. There were two slots tournaments in the a.m. and one blackjack tournament in the p.m. Entrance fee was $20. The slot tournaments worked somewhat differently then others I have participated in. Each round consisted of 16 players. Only the people having the highest score of their particular round went into the finals. Sanitize, Sanitize (The Norwalk Virus) Hopefully Gone -- My biggest fear going on this cruise was catching the Norwalk Virus As you may be aware they were outbreaks of Norwalk virus on previous VOS cruises. Some were worse than others. I came prepared with bottles and packages of Purell and medicine to stop running either or both ways because I thought that if anyone was going to catch it would be me and my wife. I am happy to report that we didn't catch the virus and I only saw one or two passengers who appeared to catch something. The ship was very diligent in trying to prevent the spread of any virus. Before you went into or left the Windjammer and dinning room, people were actively encouraged by a "singing attendant "to sanitize their hands. They were also very diligent in disinfecting the handrails and other parts of the ship where the virus was known to be most likely to be. The Beauty Salon/Spa -- My DW had her hair blown out two times during the cruise at a comparable price to her own salon. I had a combination 25 minute massage and 25 minute reflexology treatment. Please don't make the mistake that I did. After the massage, the massage therapists came in with over 6 products that she said would help reduce my stress. Being that it was 9 a.m. and I didn't have my wits about me, I bought them all and only when I signed the bill did I realize that I bought $367 of products that I probably would never use. At 12 p.m., I came to my senses and returned all the products for a complete refund. Ports -- We were scheduled to go to four ports: Private Island, Haiti; Jamaica; Grand Caymans and Freeport. Because of high winds we unable to dock in Freeport (which was only supposed to be a half a day anyway and it was primarily for the shopaholics. In order to compensate us for missing the port the Captain announced that there would be free drinks Between 12-1 p.m. in selected bars. Wow!. It didn't bother us because it meant that the casino would be open earlier than scheduled. (9 a.m. rather than 2 p.m.) Excursions -- Haiti -- The only alternate in Haiti was activities to their private island. I LOVE the beach; but was somewhat disappointed with the beach on the island that faced the Atlantic. It was not the lovely clear blue color one usually sees, and if you went out to whether the water was over your head, you were standing on a rocky shelf. Add to that it was very hot and humid and I stayed for only about 2 hours (including visits to the native flea markets, where each vendor was anxious for you to view his wares and negotiate with you the price for each item. I bought a 8 X 10 painting for $10 on the way back to the boat. A lot of people returned early because they were set upon by natives who would not take no for an answer when they asked you to buy their wares. I never saw this. These passengers must have been walked somewhere on their own because the vendors in the flea market were aggressive, but not to the extent described. Jamaica -- Almost all excursion in Jamaica included climbing the 600 ft waterfall at Dunes Falls. Having seen a video of my son's trip to Jamaica and his climbing the falls, I decided it was much too strenuous for me. Instead I went on an excursion to the rejuvenating falls. We first took a tour of the Gardens at the top of the falls where all the unusual floors were pointed out to us. There was also a peacock with its wings continually spread and a man with a parrot on his shoulder. After the tour, there were changing rooms if you needed to change into your bathing suit and off we went to climb the 80 foot waterfall. This was more my speed. I can't describe how great it felt to lean against a rock and have the water fall on your shoulders. No shower head I know of could be that intense and that relaxing. There was a photography there to video the excursion and I bought a VHS for $20 but have yet to play it. After leaving the falls, we spent 30 minutes at a shopping complex where I bought my cigars and liquor and another tie shirt. Franking, after comparing the price I paid to those on the liquor sold on the ship. The ones I bought on the island were slightly higher. Grand Cayman -- In Grand Cayman we took an excursion that was a once in a lifetime experience. We in actually went under the sea, not in a Nautilus with a dozen other people or a semi-submergible, but a BUBBLE SUB, that fit only my DW and I. The pilot was outside the sub in scuba gear and not only piloted the sub but provided a narration about the fish and coral. We could also speak to him and ask whatever question we had. We were down for about 45 minutes. I can't stop singing the song "Under the Sea" because that was what it felt like inside a sealed clear bubble with a 360 degree of the sea life all around us. The owner told us that there are only 6 such subs in the world, three of which are used for tourism and 3 others used for deep sea research. Ours only went down about 40 ft. Disembarkation -- We went under the Verrazzono Bridge about 6:15 a.m. and started deporting at around 9:30 a.m. Fortunately we had white tags and the first ones off the ship. On Celebrity all passengers in wheelchairs are issued white tags and RCCL you have to ask for them otherwise you leave when your color is called. I presume that people with pink tags (the last color to be called left the ship between 10:30 and 11 a.m. This is amazing in so far as the new passengers going to Bermuda were expected as early as 11:30 AM. Final Observations -- My DW and I had a wonderful anniversary cruise! We were in fact tempted to not get off the ship but continue on to Bermuda for another 5 days. VOS is a wonderful ship with lots to do, including a chance to win over $13,000, which one lucky passenger won at the last session of bingo. Read Less
Sail Date June 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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