Voyager OTS Review-Spring Break Week
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!!!
First of all, thanks for a great and balanced review. It is always nice to read a review from someone who can realistically comment on the good, not so good, and the things that weren't so good. Secondly, welcome to the rank of Diamond member! You'll love it, and I am happy you made the grade!
Congrats on making Diamond. Free Happy Hour.... Woohoo!!! We did Voyager in Feb. Loved it also. Did a Grand Suite for the first time. With the Diamond discount (a huge...HUGE per), it was too good a deal to pass up. Went with 2 other couples. They did Junior Suites. We forced ourselves to "slum" with them though :) Nice GS feature is FULL menu for room service. We decided to do our last breakfast with our friends in our cabin. Eggs Benedict, Omelets, you name it. And they were "Johnny on the Spot" every time. GREAT Service. Our friends "dressed" for the breakfast in our room. They surprised us with the guys in bathrobes like Hugh Hefner, and the wives in French Maid outfits. Needless to say, my wife and I were thrilled, and the room service waiter and the room steward were..... how shall I put this.... "impressed?"
Our biggest "con" was at boarding. The ship had a norovirus outbreak the week before so they delayed boarding and asked that no one show until 1:00 for cleaning. The line was ridiculously long. I went and found an RCL rep and asked about Suite guests and Diamond boarding priority. He walked us all to the front of the line. Very, VERY nice of him.
As you, I loved Voyager. Am doing Vision Trans Atlantic in Sept. and decided to do the GS again. Can't wait. Give the GS a try. It'll be worth it.
Thanks for review..Congrats on Diamond..Will take us forever to get there.. Started laughing when I read part of review about Windjammer...On our 3rd morning on Freedom I noticed to could go to the left...We always went to the right.
Can't wait till our next cruise..Dec this year :(
Too many people stop at the first line they see, figure 'this is it' and never notice the other serving stations. This is especially true with the huge Windjammers on the Voyager and Freedom class ships. And yes, I've done it too. I try to do a walk around the whole place first before getting in a line but sometimes brain-fade gets in the way.
Dave, I think the mix-up in Windjammer came about because of the way they have set up getting a plate and silverware for the Port side. You no sooner get into the area, and the table holding the plates and silverware/napkins was right there on the right as you walk in. Since it was on that side, it APPEARED to even us that there was only the one side operating. Since there is no "oriential" area on the left side (I'll be da__ed if I can remember what the area was called), the food (breakfast, for example) was set up the same on both sides. There was a fresh fruit and cereal set-up area in front by the entrance (like the area where there was a bar on Mariner), as the "bar" on Voyager was positioned in the aft area of Windjammer, almost by the last step down to the tables by the windows. I had forgotten; we really liked the chairs and table settings. The chairs were wicker, some brown, some white, with nice padding. A VERY clean look; not that other ships were not clean, if you know what I mean. Food was very good ( their french fries are amazing!!) as were their hamburgers. Also, Portifinos was on the starboard side of the ship, with an entrance off the Windjammer, AND in the hallway next to the sliding doors to the pool deck As I said before, there is no Chopps on Voyager. As I recall from the one time we had a gold colored sea pass card, people were able to eat their food in the Portifino area if they wanted. I think Voyager is a fine ship, with a fantastic crew of every section, but I think I still will rate our ship preferences as Mariner #1, and Radience #2. I hope to do two weeks on Jewel OTS next year. We'll just have to see; and we will be trying a GS this time, since I have almost 1 1/2 years to pay for the cruise. Balcony cabins are nice, but a JS is better (more leg room for we "full figured guys) plus a tub and shower as just a shower stall area in a balcony.
We DID have a laugh during "muster drill". Our area for it was in the dining room, 4th floor, and we all wondered how we were going to get the life boat in there.
They call the Oriental area "Jade".
I was on the Voyager January 21st. It was annoying the way they had the plates and silverware right when you walked in the entrance. Everyone would stop right there and the backup would block the entrance for those trying to get through. I agree, RCI's done something different with their french fries. They were very good.
How much is diamond discount?
The discount program starts with Platinum and increases as you move up the ladder. It is for balcony and suites only. Here is what I have on it. Note these are for bookings not made on the ship, and for cruises greater than 6 months away. Subtract $25 for cruises booked inside of 6 months. These are per cabin discounts:
$ 50 for 3-5 nights
$100 for 6-9 nights
$200 for 10-14 nights
$200 for 15+ nights
$ 75 for 3-5 nights
$125 for 6-9 nights
$225 for 10-14 nights
$225 for 15+ nights
$125 for 3-5 nights
$225 for 6-9 nights
$325 for 10-14 nights
$325 for 15+ nights
Diamond Plus & Pinnacle :
$150 for 3-5 nights
$250 for 6-9 nights
$350 for 10-14 nights
$350 for 15+ nights
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