We've been back for almost a week now from our cruise on Voyager out of New Orleans over Spring Break week, and I have a few pros/cons on several things that happened before, during and after another Fab vacation cruise with RCL. Please note, that when I say cons, except for two, they are mostly observations and comparisons with other ships; this will NOT be any style of a hatchet job; we love RCL too much to do that.
Being the lazy sod that I am, I paid for the RCL transfer from MSY (Louis Armstorng Airport) to the ship, since you give them your bags and they somehow show up in your cabin later that evening. It was NOT a bus owned and operated by RCL, but probably a charter service that RCL uses. Nice DRIVERS and people inside the terminal, but, for some reason, a long walk from the baggage area to the bus. There is obviously much rebuilding going on at the port terminal area, as the traffic was a total mess, busses and cars and vans and fork lifts all vying for the same spot. The bus stopped along side the ship area, where we were told that the bags would be removed from the bus. Afterwards, someone got ONTO the bus, saying he took the bags off, and strode the isle asking for tips!! Note; this was NOT the bus drive!! We then sat on the bus for another 30 minutes while it traveled a total of maybe 1000 feet, where we were able to get off the bus and be hearded into the terminal like sheep to the slaughter! Being a cop, I've seen prisoners on our jail treated better!
Getting through security, and setting up our sea pass cards was the usual process and time, but in our case, once again, my wife's card has the wrong C&A rating. They were not able to correct it, but I asked the C&A lady on the ship to ssee if she could correct the issue, as this was the second time it had happened. She thinks she fixed the computer glitch; we'll see next time. BTW, great service in the C&A area onboard the ship; NO complaints here.
We had a JS
on deck #10, AFT, starbord side which was again perfect in all areas. We immediately noticed that many of the crew were Asian. Our waiter Ning later told us that Voyager was going to Asia area, and that many Asians in their country do not speak much English, if any, and that many Asians RCL personnel were being moved to the ship from other ships. Ning has been on Allure, as had our cabin attendant Li. Again BTW, they were both wonderful, very attentive, and actually spoke to each other about my wife and I, and how we all seemed to get along.
The cruise was NO, JA, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, NO. Falmouth port appears to have been created by RCL, as it was new, clean, and very regulated. I believe this is the case, as when we bought a bottle of Rum at one of the shops, we had to show our Sea Pass card before they would sell the Rum to us. Many shops selling watches, gold, jewelry, and a few trinkets. We walked around for a bit, then back onto the ship. Next port was Georgetown, which we love as a port. We did Sting Ray City again; VERY crowded this time, with private and business ships, and JET SKIS!! The seas were rough that day and very windy, so there were not many Sting Rays in the area. Still, I highly recommend this excursion. After getting back to the dock area, we walked around. I had to go to the Harley Davidson shop to get a pin for a friend, and we then went to Jimmy Buffet's Margraitaville (sp). After hearing the party upstairs, we went up also and got a table. We each had a "cheeseburger in paradise", she had Iced Tea, and I had a Margaretta. Very good, and lots going on there, but when the bill came, I found that I could go to McDonalds for a month on what I paid for two burgers and two drinks. $65,less tip (US)!!!
Cayman dollars would have been $52. Oh well, one time won't kill me.
Cozumel was fine again also. Shopped and walked around. As I have stated before, the Ship is my cruise. Still, I must admit that I prefer a Western cruise to an Eastern cruise.
Voyager is the oldest Eagle Class ship of it's version. She is a fine ship, but in SMALL ways, she needs some work. The hallway carpets are starting to show some wear, and some of the trim areas of the pool deck need refinishing. Many of the larger green tinted (covered by film) windows in the Solarium, Viking Crown lounge, and windjammer need fixing (mostly sun damage it appears). The most glaring thing, to me, was the balcony cabin hand rails. They appear to have not been varnished in years!! In our cabin #1340, there were chunks out of the wood! I think that part of the problem is that the cabin's balcony walls are steel, giving the balcony a cave feel. On Mariner, the balcony dividers are plexi-glass, and can be opened by the crew. On one trip, the balconys were closed for a few hours each day (different decks and sides) as they crew had opened the dividers and were varnishing the hand rails, which dried very fast in the heat of the day. Many of the pool deck whirlpools only partially worked; many pump motors needed replacing. As I said, minor problems that I'm sure will be corrected if/when she's refitted.
Food, to me, was great, and plenty of it if you asked for seconds! Part of the nightly menu option areas included a Maine Lobster from Portifino's, or a filet from Chopps (No Chopps on the ship). Lobster was great!!
A funny thing the wife and I noticed was that in Windjammer, it took almost three days before people noticed that when you walked into the area, YOU COULD ALSO WALK TO THE LEFT (starboard side) and that there was food there also. She and I had the whole side basically to ourselves for breakfast for a few days; the rest finally caught on about Tuesday. Funny...........
Shows were very good, and Jimmy the cruise director was wonderful. The entire cruise was generally a great time! Our nedt cruise won't be until October, 2013 when we hope to be on Jewel OTS as she repositions from Boston to Tampa for a 14 day sail!! Also,BTW, we are now Diamond!! Thinking about a GS this time, to be able to use the consigerse (sp) lounge.
I'm also beginning to think I should have paid more attention to spelling classes in my youth.
I'll be happy to answer any questions or comments if needed. Another Wonderful Cruiseon RCCL!!!