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Cruise Ship Review
Royal Caribbean International

Voyager of the Seas

by Kenneth Gerbehy

Voyager of the Seas

We chose the Voyager of the Seas because of the reviews I had read, the ship itself, and the great deal we got on her. As we have now cruised 57 times, we go for the ship, rather than the ports of call. This was also our 20th wedding anniversary and my son's 10th birthday. We stayed the night before the cruise at the Wyndham in the port of Miami; this is a good hotel with reasonable rates.

Boarding

Embarkation was a breeze: we were on the ship and in our cabin by 11:30. It was the biggest inside cabin we have ever had on Royal Caribbean; it looked a lot like the cabins on the Nordic Empress, but much bigger. You could check your shipboard account on the TV. There was a small (stocked) refrigerator. The bathroom had more room than those on other RCCL ships. We then went up to the Island Grill for some lunch and a look around the ship. Wow -- take your walking shoes!!

Ports of Call

Labadee (Haiti) looks great as you're cruising in, but the beaches aren't that great and the water was really not that clean. We went to the beach in Ocho Rios (Jamaica), the one right by the dock, where we had a great time. Jamaica is a place where you really should not leave the tourist areas, but I still like the place. We didn't go to Dunn's River Falls this time around -- this was the 15th time we have been to Jamaica.

Cozumel was the last port of call and by far the best. We spent the day at Chankanaab Park and beach. The weather was great and very hot!

The Ship

Johnny RocketsRoyal Caribbean has done it! The Voyager of the Seas is not just another cruise ship, but rather a floating resort on the high seas. There is so much to do and see on this ship. I have never seen anything like the Royal Promenade -- I had to keep telling myself I was on a ship!

This ship holds 3600 when full. There were 3450 on our cruise; you may say that is a lot of people, and you would be right. But we never, and I mean never waited on any lines. And we always got to sit by the pools and we didn't have to get there very early to get a lounger. And it seems like the band played all day long -- it was great.

Going to the stern of the ship, you will find the Sports Deck, with its rock climbing wall, full basketball court, miniature golf course, and inline roller rink. One deck below is the kid's deck: Adventure Ocean with its own water slide is great -- my boys enjoyed it there. (They were on their own on this cruise, and they had a great time.)

SolariumThe fitness center is very big; I think it's the biggest on the seas. There are two pool areas on this ship. The main pool area has two big pools and four hot tubs. We stayed here most of the time with the Caribbean Music playing all day long. The other pool is the Solarium pool, which reminds me a lot of something you might find on one of the newer Costa ships like the CostaRomantica. Very Romanesque!! It also has two very big hot tubs. When I first saw the pool areas I thought it was going to be very crowded, but it wasn't.

There is a wraparound promenade deck where you can go all the way to the front of the ship. It's a great place at night time for star watching (which we had to do one night for my sons' homework -- there was a full moon out.) There is also a peek-a-boo bridge so you can see what's happening on the bridge. The Disney Magic has the same thing.

 

Lounges

  • We always started the night at Cleopatra's Needle. They have live music there every night.
    And then we would make our way up to Rhythm & Rhymes up in the Viking Crown Lounge -- they always had a great latin band playing.
  • On the Royal Promenade there are same great places to go and have a great time, like the Pig & Whistle: it's an old English pub, a sing-along pub, and a great place to have a pint of beer. Across the way is Scoreboards, which is a sports bar.
  • The Aquarium Bar and Champagne are very nice lounges, but very quiet and under-used. The Schooner Bar is a great place for before-dinner drinks.
  • The Vault is the best disco at sea -- that was always our last stop before we took our moonlight deck walk and then went back to our cabin.

Dining

Carmen Dining Room
This is the lowest of the three-deck-high complex of dining rooms. Sitting in this dining room, I got the feeling of being in the main ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. This is the best dining room we have ever seen on a ship. And the food? I can say it was the best food we have ever had on a Royal Caribbean cruise. We have been on seven of them and it was always good to very good, but not great. But this time I must say it was GREAT!! Also, it is a very quiet dining room. Our waiter told us there is a new chef on the Voyager. He believes in good taste!

The Windjammer & Island Grill
These are where we usually had breakfast and lunch. The food is good, but they could have more variety. We also had dinner in the Island Grill one night, and we liked it.

Johnny RocketsTM
Well, what can I say? It was great. The food and shakes were just great. We have one in the next town over from us, and we take our boys there after their games on the weekends. The food is the same as it is in any of their restaurants -- it is not the ship's food. We never waited that long in any lines. Don't miss this place.

Café Promenade
Here you get pizza, sandwiches, cookies, pastries, cakes, coffee, tea, hot chocolate . . . . It's open most of the day and night.

Portofino
We had dinner there for our 20th wedding anniversary. Both the food and service were wonderful. If anybody remembers the Oceanic of the old Home Lines, this is the way dinner was every night. There is a $15 per person charge. There were people who had dinner there every night.

Shows

We love going to the shows on cruises. The shows on the Voyager were great. The shows were held in the La Scala show room. It's three decks high and there isn't a bad seat in the house. You never have to rush down after dinner to get a great seat. This show room and the one on the Disney Magic are the best at sea.

Don't miss "Dreamscape" -- it's a very good show. The Friday night show had "Bowzer's Rock & Roll Party"; he is from the group Sha-Na-Na, which had a TV show in the 70s. The boys got his pictures and autograph.

And then there is Studio B -- I had to get used to the idea of seeing an ice skating show on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, but it was great! David Cousins was the headliner.

Disembarking

Getting off the ship was a breeze. We were off the ship by 8:30am and on the road by 9am.

In Closing

This is a great ship for families -- as good or even better then Disney for the family. We had a great time. If you already love RCCL, then you have to try this ship. I think most people who love to cruise will have a great time on this ship. It has everything you could want on a cruise ship, and it is a very upbeat cruise. But you can alway find those out-of-the-way places to sit and read a good book. I really think you need 10 days on this ship. I don't think we ever had such a good time on a cruise as we did on this one.

View more PHOTOS of this incredible ship courtesy of Royal Caribbean International
by clicking HERE!

Line

Kenneth Gerbehy may be reached at: WSMets123@webtv.net.


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