Cruising with Royal Caribbean on Voyager of the Seas was a wonderful holiday we truely deserved! There's so much to do, see and eat, it's hard to not be satisfied. This Ultimate Guide Voyager of the Seas blog should answer any questions you may have before heading out on your own cruise!
What To Expect On Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas Cruise Ship
What Is The Food Like On Voyager Of The Seas?
3 main food areas on Voyager of the Seas: The Windjammer (buffet), The Sapphire Dining Room & The Cafe Promenade. These plus most room service was included in the ticket price.
Other restaurants (which you would pay for on board) were: Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Johnny Rockets Burgers, Chops Grille, Giovanni Italian & Izumi Japanese Cuisine. There was a deal, offered on the first 3 days of cruising, to go to any 3 restaurants for a set $100.
The Cafe Promenade was the only eatery open 24 hours.
The food was always top quality. Never anything burnt or undercooked, it was absolutely perfect on all levels. There was ALWAYS something for everyone! Roasts, Curries, Fish & Chips, Salads, Fruit, Pasta, Pizza, a rainbow of desserts, the famous Royal Caribbean Pumpkin seed buns, cold cut platters..... The list goes on!
They had a gluten free section in the buffet. Skim, soy, full cream and lactose free milk were available in most areas of the ship. Sugar-free ice cream offered in the Dining Room. Many options always available to cater for everyone's taste. I'm still missing it…
There's the option of pre-booking a dinner time, before boarding, if you are a routine sort of person. We went with the 'My Time' dining option.
We simply booked a time, on the day, whenever we wanted to dine in the dining room. Apart from that, we took it day by day. If we didn't feel like going to the dining room or being tied to a time, we simply went to the buffet whenever we felt hungry.
Glasses of water and traditional lemonade are offered in the Windjammer for free. Apart from that, all drinks are additional. With about a dozen bars around the ship, you won't go thirsty! There's currently 3 different drinks packages offered by Royal Caribbean and if you know you'll be drinking, it's well worth it. Myself and Curtis never drank more than 2 drinks a day so it definitely wasn't worth it for us, we just paid for what we had.
Cocktails and Barista made coffee were a stand out in terms of quality! They were always delicious!
The best part that added to the relaxed, holiday mode, was having the cruise staff know exactly what you wanted when you ordered. I never had to explain what to put into a cocktail or what a mocha was (the nightmare that was Europe).
Cruising TIP: All drinks packages, wifi, and shore excursions on Voyager of the Seas were 20% extra if purchased on board. If you know you're going to use any of these, it is cheaper and much more convenient to buy before you board. All packages are available to be purchased up to 3 days prior to departure.
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Are The Drinks Packages Worth It?
All packages (wifi, drinks, dining etc.) are a convenience option more than anything else. If you have the money + the quantity in the packages are appealing + you would probably use them on board, I would suggest just buying them. It's less hassle at the end and so much easier throughout the trip. Myself and Curtis only bought a wifi package as I knew that was a definite thing I was going to need for my blogging. The drinks package though, simply was not worth it for us. Curtis only spent $50 on drinks the entire trip, so a $750 package would've been useless.
Entertainment on board Voyager of the Seas
Most days there were at least 3 shows on offer. Ice skating performances, Live shows including magicians, comedians and broadway style shows and staff inclusive shows such as the 'Move It! Move It!' Dreamworks parade down the Royal Promenade. A cruising day would usually go like this:
- Ice Skating show 10:30am
-Ice Skating show 1:30pm
- 'Move It! Move It!' Dreamworks Parade 5:15pm
- Magician 7:30pm
- Adults Only Comedy Show 10:30pm
Cruising TIP: All shows had 2 sessions. Usually one around 6:30/7:30pm and another around 8:30/10:30pm. Families and the elderly are more likely to go to the early session. To avoid the crowds and screaming babies, head to the later session! Chill out by the pool, head to the Casino or the best option is to eat dinner during the first session. We did this every night and I'm INCREDIBLY glad we did.
Voyager of the Seas Daily Activities
Ice Skating Rink - Usually 2-3 sessions per day. Ice Skating was broken up into half an hour sessions and when the seas were too rough, sessions and shows were postponed. ONLY 40 people are allowed in at any one session.
Dunes Mini Golf - A miniature put-put course, available 24 hours.
Ice Skating TIP: When going to an ice skating session (not show), it IS a 'first in, best dressed' order. When the sessions were finally running after our rough weather, I chose a session to go to. I arrived an hour before the doors opened and I was first in line BUT within 15 minutes there were 20 more people with me. So yes, people do line up around 45 minutes before opening time, so if you want a go, prepare with a cocktail and some cookies, to line up for a while.
Rock Climbing wall - Usually 2 x 3 hour sessions per day. No booking required, just turn up. No need to bring shoes, just socks, as they provide climbing shoes.
Spa and Fitness Centre including an indoor gym and jacuzzi - Gym and Jacuzzi are completely free. Spa sessions must be booked and are quite expensive. Many free beauty and health seminars are held here, which were very fun to go to! Yoga and ab classes were also held most mornings for an additional $10.
General Pools and Spas - Outdoor on Deck 11. 2 bars, a movie screen and ice cream machine also here. Very close to the main buffet area, so many people got their food and sat by the pool with it. Also many activities held here. Swimming relays, fun competitions and games etc.
Adults Only Pools and Spas - pretty self explanatory, no kids allowed! Yay! We lived here, Pina Colada in hand.
Flowrider - Usually 2 x 2 hour sessions per day. One body boarding and one standing. Any clothing (swimwear, bikini etc.) is acceptable.
Arcade Gaming Area - An awesome mix with all the usual suspects, available 24 hours. Most games were between $1.15 and $2 each. Load a dollar amount (minimum $10) onto your sea pass at the station inside the gaming area. Swipe your card and off you go!
Karaoke - Friendly competition with a finale show on the last night
Casino - This is a serious gamblers delight! Everything from the Pokies, Black Jack and Lotto!
Library - 2 levels. Usual mixture of books. Foreign language section also. You will find a daily Sudoku and trivia here and also board games and playing cards.
Bingo - Bingo was $33 per session. You got a booklet with 6 chances in 4 games. Prizes depended on how many people turned up, but most sessions on our cruise, winnings were between $100 and $500. The Snowball Jackpot at the end of the cruise went off at $5400.
Family Scavenger Hunts / Group Activities - usually one a day, different each day. Great family activity!
Trivia - Casual setting, staff lead. Go by yourself, as a group or find others to make a team. Usually a prize of an amazingly awesome Royal Caribbean Pen! Woo! The Topics varied greatly so there was always something for everyone.
Table Tennis, Basketball/Soccer Court - All are free to use by anyone at any time. Casual, staff refereed Basketball and Soccer games would be held usually once a day.
Kids Club - Usual daytime hours were free. After hours and specialised activities were extra
Cupcake Decorating - I really have no idea on times, pricing etc. on this as we didn't look. But there was an entire room just for this so I would say it would be somewhat worthwhile checking it out
Dance Floor - DJ starts up between 9-10pm and goes till early hours of the morning.
Ice Skating SHOWS Tip: Ice Skating shows on Voyager of the Seas were broken up by muster stations. Royal Caribbean used to do a 'first in, best dressed' for this. The Studio itself is not very big and I can see how this system would have been very hard to control. Doing it via muster stations gave EVERYONE on the ship a chance to see the different performances and it was a very effective way or organising it. Everyones muster station is very clearly displayed on their Sea Pass Card. Once most people are in, they do let any remaining guests wanting to go to that session, in at 5 minutes to the show.
Smoking On Board Voyager of the Seas
The smoking area is the general poolside area. This did not affect us in anyway as we never went there and just stayed in the adults only section. But if you're a family, you have to sit amongst the smoking cruisers. I thought that was very strange and would be a bit frustrating for families with children.
Shopping On Board Voyager of the Seas
All shopping is duty free! There's designer clothing, bags and jewellery!
Art is another big item available, with auctions held daily.
I got to try on this luxurious Ruby & Diamond necklace worth $367,098 !! My mind was blown at the incredible items up for grabs!
What Are The Cabins Like On Voyager of the Seas?
One word: small. In order to fit so many people onto the ship, this is obviously where they compensated. The showers are INCREDIBLY small. I could barely turn around.... so I honestly don't know how some people even got into their bathrooms.... BUT, your not spending 24/7 in your room, so who gives a hoot! It's always immaculately clean and tidy. A set of 4 towels per person was provided twice daily (if needed). 24 hour Room service was available with a $3.95 surcharge for delivery between 10pm-5am.
We got a balcony suite. I am so so so so happy we did! On our queezy days and when children were not what we wanted to be around, the room was quite a comfortable space to be in. It allowed fresh air in and provided a fantastic view for coming in and out of ports. If you can afford it or score a deal for a balcony room, grab it!
Accessibility On Voyager of the Seas
Theres about 7 lifts on either end of the ship. All decks themselves have ramps in and out of all areas. Specialised rooms are available. The ONLY time I saw an issue with accessibility was getting onto Mystery Island, as the wharf is all stairs.
Staff Members of Voyager of the Seas
WERE INCREDIBLE!!!! They were so friendly and knowledgable!! ALL staff went above and beyond all expectations. All english speaking. Royal Caribbean has obviously invested in the training of staff for customers expectations and to ensure a relaxed, all basis covered, holiday!
Tipping The Royal Caribbean Staff
I know! This is probably the trickiest thing to work out, especially being an Aussie! We don't tip anything or anyone in Australia, so it is a completely foreign thing for us to comprehend. It is recommended on board and there's 3 ways you can do it...
1. You can set it as an automatic deduction on your account. This was $13.80 per person, per day. If you can afford it, it's actually a fair price, as obviously that is split between hundreds of people in many areas of staff. BUT, for ordinary people like us, we simply could not afford such a massive addition to our bill. Also we wanted it to go to the people directly serving us.
2) With every purchase on board, you have the option to add a tip onto the receipt. This then hopefully goes directly to the person serving you and you can monitor it closer.
3) An envelope is provided in every room on the last cruising day. This envelope has a space for you to write staff names and the amount you'd like to tip them. We went with this option. We directly tipped our housekeeper Herman. We tipped him (the equivalent of) $100. This was obviously $50 each for the 12 days. As our housekeeper is still also being paid a wage and he is serving around 50 rooms, we figured this was a reasonable amount.
Ultimately it is COMPLETELY up to you how much, who and when you tip. There are no rules or limits and any staff would surely be grateful for any tips given.
Cruising Tip: A 'Cruise Compass' Daily Planner is provided in your room, after each turn down service, the night before. This will detail every activity available and opening hours for every service on the ship.
We had an incredible time with Royal Caribbean on Voyager of the Seas! It was exactly what we wanted and needed in a perfectly relaxing holiday!
Any further questions about this ship? Email me or comment below... As a first time cruiser, I would love to hear from the experienced cruisers!