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Becky

Age: 29

Occupation:Risk Analyst

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Voyager of the Seas

Sailing Date: December 14th, 2003

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This was my second cruise (first was on Norwegian Sea for 4 nights) and my husband's first (not counting Navy deployments!). We booked the Voyager because it is a huge ship and I wanted to be sure we'd have plenty to do while on board. I also saw her sister ship (Navigator of the Seas) while on my first cruise and was impressed with the size and feedback of the passengers. We really wanted a cruise that would allow us plenty of time in ports--it seems like a lot of ships only pull into port for a few hours, which doesn't allow much time to do things on shore. This cruise was at sea for the first day, then in port for the next four days and then at sea again the last day. It worked out well.

Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at about 1:30PM and were onboard in less than 15 minutes. No lines (surprise!) and everything was done very smoothly. The terminal is beautiful--much nicer than the warehouse that was used on my Norwegian cruise out of Miami.

We boarded and were immediately wowed by the atrium--it's like a small city. We went to our room (balcony room 8528) and were very pleased with the size. The bathroom is amazing--I can only compare it to the Sea, which had a tiny little bathroom with a shower so small you could hardly turn around. This one had a round shower door that allowed plenty of room. The sofa in the room was a little stained as were the sofa pillows, but no big deal for us. I love the TV system in the room as well--you can book all shore excursions, room service, etc on the TV. The Sea had a tiny little TV with the same shows over and over. Not the Voyager! We were able to enjoy movies while in our room on this trip.

We grabbed some lunch and then explored the ship. It was rainy outside so everyone was pretty much inside. But we all went out when the ship left. The seas were a little rough that first night, but not too bad. We ate in the main dining room for the 8:30PM seating. The people at our table were very odd--an older man (very fussy!) and a younger couple. The dinner was a little uncomfortable because everyone was so different. We ended up eating at the grill upstairs the rest of the time and loved it--same food basically and you can eat when/where you want. And it was never crowded!! The next day my husband was a little woozy at breakfast. We went to the main dining room for breakfast and it was just awful. The fruit/yogurt was good, but the banana pancakes were chalky and made out of something resembling cornmeal. Everyone at the table looked at each other and said "yuck" at the same time. We all stopped eating and left to go to the Windjammer upstairs (much better!).

First day at sea: we just lounged around. It was cool outside, so we found some chairs in the Solarium and read/napped. Very relaxing! The Solarium is beautiful and it's nice to be somewhere with no loud children.

Second day: Grand Cayman. There were NINE ships in port. WAY TOO MANY PEOPLE! We tendered to shore, which was an adventure. Thankfully it was a quick ride. There were so many people on the street you could hardly walk, let alone go into the stores. We took a bus to the turtle farm and then tried to shop--no luck. We got some food and drinks at a bar overlooking the pier--very expensive, but we were hungry and didn't want to wait to tender to the ship. After we ate, we headed back and just sat by the pool. Very nice afternoon!

Third Day: Costa Maya. Arrived to Costa Maya in overcast weather. VERY small port! We had booked a tour to Kohunlich Ruins so headed out to the pier early. The bus ride to the ruins was about 2 hours each way (yikes!) but it was well worth it. We had a great time.

Fourth Day: Cozumel. We arrived and it was sunny, but very windy. Several ships could not get onto the pier because of the wind and so they had to tender. Fortunately, we were docked. We shopped this day. It was pretty crowded with many ships in port, but there are tons of shops so we were fine walking around all day.

Fifth Day: Belize City. We booked the cave tubing/jungle walk tour. The tender ride was very long since the ship has to anchor so far offshore. This was the Voyager's first trip to Belize so the tendering process was a nightmare. They were late anchoring and then the tenders had trouble getting near the ship. We were waiting in line for the tender at around 8AM but we didn't get onboard until about an hour later. Everyone was pushy about getting into line and I have to say I was getting annoyed with all the people who would cut in line (especially after waiting for an hour to board). Once onshore, we walked around the shops a bit and then got on the bus for our tour. It was about an hour long ride to the caves. The weather was cool, so I was worried we'd freeze, but it ended up being okay. I definitely recommend this tour, but you have to like walking and not mind being in the jungle where there's the possibility for bugs, snakes, etc. We didn't see any, but they did warn us of the possibility. The caves were amazing--what a neat experience. Our guides were super nice and very funny/easy going. We had a nice chicken lunch afterwards and then headed back to the ship. I was pretty chilled after being in the water for that long, so we took nice hot showers and then went for dinner.

Sixth Day: at sea. Another day to relax. While the sun was out, it was super windy and nobody could really sit up on the deck. So, we found some chairs in the solarium and read books.

We didn't even get to see some of the ship because it's so big! But we did see the ice show (highly recommend) as well as a Beatles tribute and the farewell show. The food was good--nothing spectacular, but there was plenty of it, so we were happy. It's nice to have pizza and cookies at the Promenade as well as drinks in the evening at any of the many bars onboard (High Notes was nice). There were a lot of people onboard--the ship was full--but there were rarely lines for anything other than tenders. I have to say some people were pretty pushy and rude, but I guess maybe it was because we were all on a ship and they thought they might be missing out on something. Overall, we had a great time. We're looking forward to taking a cruise on one of the newer ships like the Voyager (Mariner of the Seas) sometime in the future.

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