Voyager of the Seas
February 10, 2008
While my overall impression upon leaving the ship at the end of the cruise was favorable, I have to admit that the Voyager of The Seas did not live up to my expectations for a ship that is near the top of the RCCL fleet. Where the Voyager falls short is in the little extras that you think would be part of such a luxurious persona that the ship portrays itself to be, and, in fact, is in style and decor.
We sailed out of Galveston; Deck 8; Balcony Suite.; Destination Mexico.
There are no complimentary toiletries in the bathrooms. The bath soap, of Ivory soap quality, is there for basin and shower. The shampoo/conditioner in the dispenser in the shower will leave your hair like straw. Do take you own from home. The hair dryer, hidden in the top right dresser drawer, is very weak. All instant hand sanitizer stations have been removed from the entrances to food service areas.
The mattresses need updating to match what most motel chains are now offering their customers. No big, fluffy beds here.
The food in the dining room was good, but not outstanding. The Windjammer is a nice alternative at the beginning of the week. Near the end of the cruise they begin to run out of some items, so you cannot always find your favorites. The ship's bars are all delightfully decorated and generally offer a specialty drink. Prices are high and you are not allowed to order liquor by the bottle for your cabin, nor can you buy liquor on shore for consumption onboard. Other cruise lines allow you to purchase bottled liquor and set-ups through room service for your own use onboard.
RCCL has the mini coolers in the room. Yes, I said coolers. The engineer we called because our fridge wasn't keeping items cold, informed us that they were not refrigerators, they were coolers. A fellow passenger had to have them put a refrigerator in her cabin because the cooler was not cold enough to keep her insulin at the proper temperature. That brings to mind the ice buckets that do not keep the ice from melting. You come back to your room at ten or eleven or later at night to find a few melted cubes floating in the bucket. Your cabin attendant is off duty. You call room service for ice and they are kind of taken aback. Yes they bring the ice, in a plastic bucket that sweats all over what little space you have. Petty? Yes! But this is just not a first class operation.
Each morning we had room service for juice, coffee, tea, fruit and sometimes pastry plates. Not one morning was the tray 100% correct. It got to the point that someone from room service would place a follow up call to see how our order was handled, and we were not rude or abusive.
The entire staff -- wait staff, room service, cabin attendant, dining room staff, bar staff, guest relations, shops -- all the personnel involved with passengers on The Voyager are fantastic. When mistakes occur like the breakfast delivery, IMO it is because they are so overworked. They are trying to run this ship with over 3,000 passengers with too small of a staff.
The ship itself is beautiful. The cruise activities, the spa treatments, the shows, the parades -- all were super and lots of fun. One especially nice touch is the Promenade Café on Deck 5 that stays open 24 hours serving free coffee, tea and hot chocolate along with small sandwiches and pastries.
Having cruised several other lines and four previous times with RCCL, I feel that RCCL has undertaken some cost cutting measures that are manifested in the little details that once set their cruise line apart from the others. I will shop a few other lines before returning to RCCL again.