Avast there me hearties as Robyn sails again
Reader review of a cruise aboard Royal Caribbean “Voyager of the Seas”, for eleven nights. There were six of us in the group, one in a wheel chair.
Getting on board was very easy and seemed to be organised very well, our friend, with the wheel chair got special attention and help.
We had to change our cabins when we got on-board, as Pat and I had a cabin with wheel chair access, and Asnet and Mel could not get one, as they booked the trip later than us, we did try and change cabins before the trip, but dealing with different agents made it difficult. We decided to have lunch before going to customer service, to the Windjammer buffet, it was lovely and a variety of food available to suit anyone, loved the free soft serve. We arrived at customer service about 5.30pm, told them of our plight, they were very nice and asked if we could come back at 7.30pm, we had dinner and went back to the desk, Yooka Kwak was the lovely lady who tried to help us, we had to wait, as they had computer problems, to cut a long story short, they gave us our key cards three times, they did not work, so waiting, waiting while they printed new ones, eventually Yooka came with us to our cabins to try herself and of cause at last they worked, she was so apologetic, then we had to arrange for our luggage to be transferred, finally at about 10pm we got to our cabins, the cabin was nice, clean, with a window, we all know the bathroom is small and it was, we were on deck three forward, and our friends were on deck two aft, they had the wheel chair cabin, it was a good size and the bathroom big, all set up for a disabled person, except the entrance to the cabin had a raised metal section, that was very hard to get the wheel chair over, and Asnet being a very small lady, just did not have the strength the get the chair over this area, she had to always try to find someone to help her. If Pat and I wanted to visit them we had to go up a floor and then back down again, this happened every time we went anywhere; you really need a GPS to find your cabin.
Day one at sea. Rough weather and choppy seas. There were three places to have breakfast, Windjammer buffet deck eleven, Promenade Café deck five and Sapphire Dining room deck three for another buffet breakfast, Sapphire deck four for ala carte full table service, which I liked the best. All six of us dinned together in the Sapphire dining on deck three our waiters were Arleen and Mukesh, they we very attentive, BUT, they had quite a few tables to look after, so we found the service was a little slow, get in at 5.30pm and don’t leave till a little after 7.30pm, I am sure they were short staffed, the food was lovely, but not as hot as I would like it, not sure how far it had to travel, you still had time to get to the other end of the ship for the shows.
Day two: still at sea, still rough weather, I like it when the ship is rocking and rolling, the usual breakfast, service slow, then walking along the Promenade deck looking at the shops, I found it funny that they did not have a small section of one of the shops for incidentals like toothpaste, Panadol, shampoo etc. Had lunch which was lovely Deck four service a little slow, Dinner Deck three had a steak and it was so tender and cooked just the way I liked it. Walked around and did some exploring looking at the other restaurants that you pay, Johnny Rockets deck twelve 50’s style dinner, great for the kids, Chops Grille, the name says it all, Casual Dining at the Windjammer deck eleven , Giovanni’s Table, Izumi, and of cause Café Promenade. On the Promenade Deck they had the big band playing the old time swing music, it was wonderful.
Day three: still at sea, but you could see some blue sky and the sea not as rough. Some of the things you could do, Captain’s Corner: A Nautical Q & A session with Captain Pehr. Next Cruise presentation. Champagne Art Auction. Photo Specials. Worlds sexiest man completion. Happy St. Patrick’s day. Ice Skating for the kids. Flowrider also for the kids and big kids. Playing Bridge. Big Band Dance Music. Plus all ages Karaoke. The Show in the La Scala Theatre was Master Magician and Illusionist Leo Ward, very enjoyable, there was the late night Adult Comedy starting at 10.45pm.
Day four: at Sea. Sales at the speciality shops, lots of things for the children, Outdoor Movie, plenty going on in the Casino, Super show, the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers doing the Hits of Queen, the band, singers and dancers were exceptional.
Day five: We are going to Lautoka, Fiji. We docked at 11.30am and had to be back at 9pm, the shuttle from the port to the city cost $8 usd. Return. A lot of complaints as only one shop open, being Sunday. There are a lot of sugar cane farms, rustic faring villages; this is where the famous Distilleries for the local Bounty Rum is found. At night we had a wonderful Skating show. Great night of music and dancing.
Day six: Day at sea. I had a problem with my Credit card, it was quickly resolved by Kartik Bnardwaj at Customer service, with a complementary call to my bank in Sydney. Lovely Show Sam McCool and Leo Ward great music but a lot complained that it was way too loud.
Day seven: We arrived at Port Vila, Vanuatu, we had free return shuttles. This Island has an earthy beauty, and ancient Melanesian heritage, it has has been voted the happiest place in the world, they have hidden lagoons, deep sea grottos. Such a fantastic show at night Monique Montez, what a remarkable voice this lady has.
Day eight: The Sweetest Seclusion, the beautiful Mystery Island, uninhabited as Rumour has it that only spirits live there, lovely white sandy beaches, aqua coloured water, we get to the Island via tender from the ship, the water is so inviting and water temperature just right, the local’s from other Islands close by come over in small boats bringing goods to sell, I found the people to be very shy, a lovely group of kindergarten children were bough over to sing for us, they were so cute. The show that night was Aurianna and Shuan very nice show.
Day Nine: We docked at 8am at Noumea, the Capital of the French Territory of New Caledonia; it is home to the largest lagoon and the second largest coral reef in the world, there are some fascinating museums, good snorkelling and diving, lovely beaches down by Baie des Citrons and Point Magnin, you can walk around the City and shop. Very funny show with Comedy Hypnotist Mark Anthony. I have to say that the breakfast service was not good this morning, we were put at a table that had not been cleared, well half cleared, no cups when we were asked if we wanted tea/coffee, the waiters were forgetful and mixed up our orders, we had to ask for pastries and juice, I don’t know if they were tired or in love, not a good start of the day.
Day ten: At Sea, Sea starting to get a little rough again, a few little waves in the ships pools, lots to do Trivia, Bingo, Dance classes, Line dancing. Breakfast again very unorganised. Another spectacular show Music in Pictures, Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers plus the fantastic band.
Day eleven: At Sea seas still a little rough. Breakfast still a little unorganised, lots of activities, just cannot list them all. The Show again was excellent, Farewell Showtime with American Juggler Marty Coffey, he really had audience participation, then the cruise Director Ken Jones Plus the singers and Dancers put on a great show and bought up onto the stage, Officers, Staff and crew of the Royal Caribbean .
Day twelve: The Party’s over, it’s time to call it a day. The day we arrive back home to Sydney, we were lucky to get a 9.15am leaving time, so had time for breakfast, breakfast was organised and ran smoothly. I found that the organisation for leaving the ship was excellent; everyone seemed to get through so smoothly, finding your bags easy, well done to all the staff and customs. My Friends with the wheel chair, were so impressed, she had two staff members helping her, right through from the ship to the taxis, helping her with their luggage, and hand luggage, Thank you.
Now I had spoken to quite a few passengers, some had some complaints, some I found silly and some I found valid, I will list some of them for you. I am lucky as I enjoyed my cruise, even though I experienced a few difficulties, having to help my friend in the wheel chair. I think it is up to you, yourself to judge. It is a very good family orientated ship.
The Voyager of the Seas is not Wheel Chair or Walker friendly, to many metal raised floor separators, between cabins and hall, where you need to back the wheel chair over them, One lady was walking with her disabled friend sitting on the walker they came to the metal separator and unfortunately she tipped her friend out of the seat of the walker.
One complained that the single beds were to narrow.
Robyn Buckley, Sydney Australia
Robyn also supplied the images