We were overwhelmed with the beauty and the elegance of this ship. Whoever designed this vessel should be given an award. Everything was done in such good taste, with many innovations we have not seen on any other ships, such as the daily changing of the carpeting in the elevators, reminding what day it is. Many little things like this that are to numerous to mention.
Cabin: The cabin was done in excellent taste, right down to the choice of material for the drapes and love seat. All the side cabinet doors by the desk area were mirrored on both sides of the doors as were the cabinet doors in the bathroom. It allows the women [and men[ to fully view the back of their heads. The workmanship of the cabinets and closet doors was superb. The cabin door was made of the heaviest material I have seen on any ship. You could of had a brass band playing in the hallway and you wouldn't hear them. The only fault we found with the cabin is that the shower was quite small and their wasn't a hair dryer. But there was so many nice features that we soon overlooked this fact and made ourselves at home. I would be remiss if I didn't mention the cabin boy Paul was also exceptional. He did everything that was required, then went out of his way to see if there was anything else he could do.
Food & Service: The food was much better than we anticipated. In fact it was excellent. [I am a retired and the former owner of an award winning restaurant on L.I., New York, which was noted for service.] Our waiter and bus-girl, wine steward and bar man, were everything dining room personnel should be. They were friendly & attentive to our every need without becoming overbearing. We couldn't be served any better in any top notch restaurant in the states. They did a superb job. The after dinner presentations by the dining room staff were received very well, a nice friendly touch.
The Windjammer Lunch Area: It is by far the most beautiful and most tastefully appointed lunch area we have seen. It is unfortunate that the management personnel have not gotten their act together. As you enter the dining room, they have a hot table with five items of the day. On three different occasions, early and late, they were out of three of the items. They weren't refilling as quickly as they should which resulted in long lines of upset passengers. But this is easily corrected and I am sure they will in the near future.
Entertainment: Ken Rush, the cruise director was outstanding, as was his staff. He won over the guests on the first night and had then in his corner for the rest of the cruise. His participation in many of the ship-board activities was the difference of them being totally delightful rather than boring. The entertainment in general was good except for the production show, which we thought was terrible. But we met many people that liked it. I guess its all a matter of perspective. It was a very modern upbeat production of today's music, which Mary & I can't stand. We are more of the old tradition that likes the big band days and that type music, so we don't fault them, it just wasn't our type music.
The Pool Areas: They have two pool areas. The large pool, surrounded by four Jacuzzi and the Solarium, with two Jacuzzi. We enjoyed the quiet reserved atmosphere of the Solarium area. It was very peaceful and relaxing.
Coco Cay: If we knew what we were in for, we would never have tendered to Coco Cay. by the time we arrived at Coco Cay and walked to the beach area, all we could see in the water was hundreds of people floating on mats. The beach area was over-crowded and not very appealing. There was kelp all over the bottom of the water by the beach. If we had to do it again, we would stay on board and enjoy the pool area.
The Captain of the Ship: I never expected to be writing about the captain, but it is a must. He was dynamic. Instead of the cruise director being the host of the Captains party, the Captain was the host of his own party. In a very personable way he told a short history of the Royal Caribbean line and then he told us about the new addition to their fleet, The Voyager of the Sea. It is not so much what he said as it was the way he said it that was so appealing. He said it with so much warmth and sincerity. He made a promise that he would personally see to it that we had a memorable cruise. He then went about the usual business of introducing the staff. But then at the end of the cruise he once again did something I had never seen done before. At the beginning of the farewell stage production he walked from the audience onto the stage and addressed the audience. Again in a most personable way, he thanked us for selecting Royal Caribbean and then summarized some of the things he had said at the opening party about the Voyager of the Seas, and other things he thought might interest us. The Royal Caribbean line not only has an outstanding Captain but also a person who is very well spoken, and is an articulate sales representative for Royal Caribbean. I am sure Royal Caribbean will have many new regular cruisers because of the of the way the captain conducted himself. [Im sorry, I can't recall his Swedish name.]
In Closing: I didn't expect to be this lengthy, but I do want to try and give you a good idea of what we experienced. We had a wonderful cruise. We have made a number of cruises with the Celebrity Cruise Line and have sailed on all their ships. Until this cruise we have always rated Celebrity as the best by far. Although we still think they are excellent, we think Royal Caribbean might be just a tad better because of the friendliness displayed by the entire crew.. They show their guests in so many ways and by the little things they do, that the number one thought in their mind is to make your cruise the absolute best that is possible, and that they do. That kind of attitude is going to afford them well in the future.