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Shore Excursions

Age: 40

Occupation:graphics artist

Number of Cruises: 7

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Voyager of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2009-06-14

Itinerary: mediterranean

Mediterranean Cruise Departed June 14th, 2009

Most noticeable facet of the cruise.: I never saw or heard the cruise director. I would not have known her or him if he or she bit me in the face. This probably isn't the case for many others and I'm sure whoever it was did a great job.

Check in:

Fast and courteous. I've never had any difficulty with RCCL when it comes to checking in. There were 20 people in our group and there were no hassles whatsoever. Though if pressed to find something I would change, I would choose to make embarkation a little more festive. two guys handing out cookies was great for my son but did nothing to increase anticipation.

Fantastic. Best RCCL dining I've ever had. (Though Alaska may be a tie.)

Standard fare with a balcony. My son is 8 years old and thinks that a bed that pulls out of the ceiling might be the greatest invention ever. We made sure our room was equipped with this important feature. I think when there are more than two people in a cabin that the cruise line should remove the 'coffee table'. In reality it is a junk shelf and in my experience, gets in the way. The room was clean and well maintained by our cabin steward and the bathroom was very manageable. Plenty of closet space and the suitcases all fit no problem under the bed. The balcony was wonderful and serene. Perfect for a ten minute escape or a morning nap.

Ship Inside:
Voyager was the first of its class and has been busy since its launch. There is the usual wear and tear but RCCL does a pretty good job of maintaining her and she shows pretty well. The dining room is gorgeous and the mall is a great place to meet your people, grab a snack or a drink or a t-shirt or a watch or a necklace or some duty free etc. etc. The theaters are beautiful and the ship is filled with photo ops. Great decor and design with a lot of colors. The staff was very helpful and accommodating. This being a European cruise, I met many crew members who were TRI lingual. The casino was brutal though others seemed to do ok and all the themed bars were the usual fare.

Ship Outside:
There was lots of room and mountains of deck chairs. Not even remotely as festive as a Caribbean cruise, almost subdued. It never seemed crowded on deck in either the general public or adult areas. There was never a line at the soft serve ice cream machine and as always with RCCL, bar service is everywhere. It was a nice atmosphere and comfortable.

There are two major problems however and these are strictly my opinion. First, the pools are salt water. I can't tell you how disappointing it was to jump in the pool with my son only to have him have that look of total shock and disappointment. Kids don't care where you go, they only care where you swim. Ugh, they can spend a fortune on a gigantic artistic glass cone but can't fill just one of the pools with salt water. But, salvation lay at the stern of the ship. There is a water slide. Well, not really. There certainly in a slide but the water part is questionable. I mean, there was water coming down the slide but a 50 pound 8 year old had to use his arms to pull himself down the slide. Wheeeeeee! The amount of water that moved down that slide per hour couldn't fill a drinking glass. It was a TOTAL disappointment.

I am very tired of Broadway revues and magic shows. RCCL Seems to have them on all their ships, and rightfully so. Many people enjoy them. I did not attend these shows but heard they were excellent. I did attend the ice show and saw some amazing feats of skill and strength. The rink is small so the skaters really have to work to pull off some of the moves. It was a wonderful and different experience.

Things to do:
Again, I guess the European cruises are a little more relaxed that the Caribbean cruises. It seemed that there was less going on and much of it was catered to specific groups, i.e. british trivia, spanish trivia etc. Sure there was plenty to do. The contests in the casino, art auctions, movies etc. It just seemed a lot less hectic. There were times that we found ourselves wondering what we were going to do for the next two hours instead of how are we going to fit it all in.

This was brutal. Early call to get on the bus, drive for an hour and then hoof it double time as you run through the Colosseum, then to Vatican. GO GO GO breathe later, keep up non-stop! OK? Wasn't that fun? And in truth, it was amazing. The places you got and the things you see are breathtaking and after the whirlwind is over, you can look back and say... wow we were just in the Sistine Chapel etc. By the fourth day however, you are beat. The pace of the excursions wipes you out thus the cruise ship itself becomes solely a place to put your feet up. Its hard to get motivated when you are spent. Also, by the end of the week, you are tired of being in a bus. Two hours a day, five days in a row you are pushing 10-12 hours in a bus. With little ones in tow, the challenge becomes how to keep the kids from going stir crazy. Take them to the pool when you get back to the ship, that way you can.... oh wait, the salt. More than one cruiser complained I'm sure as my son and I raced up and down the halls.

RCCL Cruises are pretty much the same no matter where you go. There is a slight change in flavor depending on the location. Other than that, if you have cruised RCCL, aside from the ports of call, you will get nothing new.

Excursions were brilliant. You can't miss with world history that in depth and important.

If given the opportunity to plan another vacation of this type, I would not cruise. Now that RCCL has provided a great overview of what is possible, I would slow it down and be more specific.

Hope this helps anyone who may be thinking about taking this cruise.

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