As avid cruisers, we had a world trip organised from Feb-Oct 2020, which includes 7 cruises. We even started up our own blog for the trip thriftydrifting.com . A week before our first cruise was to depart our home in Fremantle, WA, the cruise was cancelled ( due to Covid19) , with everything going haywire quickly we had a few weeks up our sleeves so quickly booked in on back to back Cruises on Voyager of the Seas. If we were going to accomplish anything with the start of the disruptions, given we were at 60 nights with RC the back to back would take us to 82 giving us our diamond. We love being on the sea and love sea days, so regardless of ports of call scheduled we were just happy we could be on the water.
Embarkation- at Circular Quay in Sydney was smooth. At the time there was still no temperature checks, but we did fill out a health survey for Vanuatu ( originally this cruise was to New Caledonian Ports) . 2 days before the cruise we were emailed the itinerary change which would now go to Noumea and then to Vanuatu ports instead. Note: after our day in Noumea there was an announcement our cruise wasn’t going to Vanuatu, but now going to Tauranga and Bay of Islands in New Zealand and Eden, Australia
The ship- overall appearance, cleanliness, maintenance, etc is very good. We like this ship and having previously been on Explorer of the Seas for 23 days we knew the Voyager layout very well. They are very similar.
Dining- As we aren’t your typical cruisers, we can only comment on the dining options we do use. ( on this cruise we didn’t use any of the paid/extra dining options) and we only had dinner in the Main dining room once.
Main dining room- we enjoy the main dining room for breakfast. They have it laid out so that buffet style is on the 3rd floor and a la carte is on the 4th floor. Problem for us is we always ask for a private table for 2. As there are limited private tables for 2 on the 4th floor we have to do the buffet on the 3rd floor. Luckily we don’t mind the buffet, think it’s a bit better than the Windjammer, and coffee better as well. Plus you get your ice water in a glass rather than a plastic cup.
Occasionally we have lunch in the main dining room. It’s nice to go up for their Tutti salad buffet and see what else is on offer and also get any a la carte items as well.
We don’t do dinner in main dining room. Much prefer the Windjammer as it is less crowded, informal and suits us.
Windjammer - With other Royal Caribbean ships we have been on, we have been much more impressed with breakfast spreads. This cruise seemed to lack the extra variety. Example, didn’t have lesser known breakfast options like congee and accompaniments, Indian breakfast options, and even salmon was limited.
Lunch and Dinner were quite good, lots of variety, although after 11 days it does all start to feel the same. We have been on ships were everything was salted heavily, food cold, etc, so cant complain about the food here.
We also enjoy dinner in the Windjammer as it is not very busy, very casual. We also enjoy making a cheese plate and dessert plate to take back to the room to eat later.
Note: on this ship the Windjammer had a hand washing station. ( pretty sure this will become common on more ships) , it is a slower process in line waiting, but once the initial crowd is in the line goes down as well.
We also like the Cafe Promenade. We are happy with the complimentary coffee, so only occasion splurge on a bought one. But we also go for the complimentary snacks - pizza, rolls, desserts, antipastos, all nice for an afternoon nibble.
Pools and Outdoor decks- there are 2 pools side by side in the main area and a 3rd pool in the adult only solarium. This ship the Solarium is open air.
The ship also has 6 spas (hot tubs) 4 in main area and 2 in Solarium.
We did find on this ship the pool and spas were often very busy, much more than on other cruises we’ve been on. Maybe the sunnier days and more sea days brought more people out.
Activities - this ship has a big activities area: sports court, rock climbing, wave rider, mini golf, 2 water slides, etc. - we don’t really use these, but they looked popular amongst the crowds.
Ice Skating - The ship has a cast of professional ice skater that put on a couple of shows. The Studio B only holds about 250 people so the initial shows get filled quickly. They also do free skating. We did the skating on Explorer of the Seas which was good. On this ship it was very crowded on the ice so didn’t bother.
Deck 5 - walk around deck. We enjoy the deck for our morning walks and going out for a stroll throughout the day. Front of ship has steps up to deck 6, but we like that the deck goes completely around the ship.
Reception - on numerous occasions throughout the cruise we had spoken to reception on a number of issues. On every occasion we get brushed off with a “ we know nothing, can’t help you attitude” or we’ll make a note and call you back - but never do. Unfortunately these interactions can really tarnish a guests overall experience on a cruise.