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Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions
Stan Burcham

Age: 66


Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Voyager of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2013-10-8

Itinerary: Asia

This was our sixth RCI cruise, so we can be characterized as fans of this line. Overall, the cruise was good and we went to many exciting places. The itinerary had changed and Korea had been omitted from a stop because of political tensions there. A third stop in Japan was added, which was at least one too many for that country.

We enjoy the dining room experience on RCI ships. We make new friends and enjoy the good service in the dining room. This cruise was no exception. The waitstaff was not quite as good as the staff on previous cruises, but it was adequate.

The guest services desk for this ship (3,000+ on board) is the same size as desks on smaller ships and generally there were too few workers at the desk. The line for currency exchange and other services was much too long and too slow. Many people complained; there was not response.

Overall, we had a good time and enjoyed the excitement of visiting places about which we had learned and dreamed of visiting when we were children..

The food is generally very good. There is a good selection on the menu in the dining room and the food is well-prepared and presented nicely. The beef on this cruise was not tender; perhaps good beef is hard to find in Asia.

We stayed away from the buffet (or the "trough,") as I called it. There is a tendency to eat too much and the atmosphere at the buffet is hurried and frenzied. At breakfast and lunch in the dining room, you can choose to be seated at large tables with new people to meet. I always enjoy this part of the dining experience.

Our stateroom was comfortable, clean, and well-maintained. We had a balcony cabin with almost adequate size. Cruise ship rooms are not usually very roomy, but a balcony cabin enhances the overall size. Bathrooms are small. This ship has been in service since 1999, and it has not been refurbished since 2008. It is showing signs of wear and tear from continuous use.

We liked the entertainment on board ship. After dinner each evening, (if the daily tour was not too long or too exhausting), we enjoyed floor shows and presentations by entertainers from the ship's crew, or entertainers presented from various countries of the world. On this cruise, most were from Australia, but that matched up with a large segment of the cruise population. During the day, bands played at the pool or in the fifth floor shop area. There was a very good pianist in the piano bar each evening. Overall, the entertainment was enjoyable.

We met new friends from Scotland as we played trivia, and we had fun together playing miniature golf. Cruising days with no port stops were relaxing times to read, listen to an on-board band or just watch the mystical sea.

The shore excursions were generally very good. Being on a tour from the ship allows one to visit highlights of the cities visited with good transportation and a knowledgeable guide. The shore excursions were exciting and informative to us. Voyager is a huge ship and it could not come into port very close to Bangkok, so the bus ride to that city was 2.5 hours from Laem Chabang. However, the bus ride allows one to see the countryside and people in daily life, so I was comfortable with the ride.

City highlight tours are generally good overviews if you haven't visited the destinations before. The palace in Bangkok is impressive; the number of motorbikes in Saigon is overwhelming. Don't miss the Hong Kong at night excursion.

Well, it was just pretty darned exciting for me to visit Beijing, Hong Kong, Saigon, Bangkok, and Singapore. We stayed in Singapore extra days and took a bus trip to Kuala Lumpur, also. Having a four star hotel service carry you from destination to destination is a pretty nice way to travel. I would recommend the cruise.

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