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Doug Jenkins

Age: 52

Occupation:Consultant

Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Voyager of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2009-09-13

Itinerary: Med

We have cruised before, but not for some years, so we do have some things to compare against. We had not been on a ship of this size before. The ship overall was beautiful, well appointed and had many amenities. However, we were disappointed that smoking was allowed in some of the indoor areas and also on one half of the upper deck. The bars where smoking was allowed were in the main open areas and the smoke spilled out into the remaining inside spaces. Also, the smoking in the casino meant that we spent very little time there. It was unbearable! We were also disappointed that the cruise line seemed to be penny pinching and charging extra at every opportunity, e.g. fresh orange juice, diet coke, all coffees other than filter were extra cost and a filet mignon at dinner was $14.95 extra!

Overall the food was a good standard, but the choice was a little limited and as stated before, the filet mignon was charged extra. The portions were fairly small, although you could ask for more. We were disappointed with the speed of the service at dinner. On two occasions we waited 55 minutes before getting our drinks! The choice of eating places was also very limited. The main restaurant was only open for lunch on 2 days of the 7 day cruise, leaving just the buffet available for the other 5 days, unless you wanted to pay extra for the Burger Bar! Also, the restaurant only served breakfast from 6.30am - 8.30am so unless you were an early riser it was the buffet again on plastic plates! The food available on the buffet was of a fairly good standard, but at the end of the day it was a buffet!

Our stateroom was a balcony room halfway along the ship. It was very conveniently placed, more spacious than we expected and very nicely appointed and clean. It had plenty of storage for the two of us and we found it very welcoming. The bed was also very comfortable.

Onboard activities were varied, and evening shows were good, especially the ice skating show. We were disappointed that a fair amount of activities took place while we were in first sitting for dinner, and they were not available later. The Spa was lovely, and the treatments were very good but very pricey. Also, the staff always try to sell products which are also very pricey.

The organised excursions are VERY expensive, and you are able to arrange all trips yourself for a fraction of the price. Do your homework beforehand and read comments on various cruise sites for best way to do each trip (e.g. Trains to Rome, Florence, Pisa, Monaco, Monte Carlo, Nice etc are all very inexpensive). Also schedules for public transportation are available at the customer services desk late evening and the following morning giving alternative options for getting around; things like bus and train times, shuttle buses, taxis etc. Obviously, these are not available earlier as they are trying to sell the very expensive tours instead!

Although we had a few gripes, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip, and will be looking at doing another cruise in the future. My parents have cruised many times with Royal Caribbean and were amazed and disappointed by some of the changes and cut backs since they last cruised 2 years ago. I know we are in a recession, but we are still paying good money for the cruise, and we shouldn't lose out. The issues we had could easily be put right by the cruise company. Lets hope they listen to our comments!

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