After the cruise, we went to Thailand for a week and a half and have only just come back to reality LOL!
The Voyager is a beautiful ship.
No Centrum (like on Rhapsody), but the first ship to have a “boardwalk” style centre point for entertainment etc. It looks awesome, and features well for DreamWorks events that they host.
We ordered breakfast in our Stateroom on a few occasions due to lack of seating in Wind Jammers during breakfast. It looks like ample seating, but there was always a hunt for seats whenever we dined for breakfast there. One morning we had to take our plates out to the deck to eat…near the smoker’s area! Twice we sat at the bar inside Wind Jammers.
We want My Time Dining from now on. Although we made very good friends with the group of people on our table (exchanging emails, photos, social catch-ups onboard etc), on open seating nights we were put anywhere even when we requested a table for 2 and were willing to wait…they nodded, ushered us into the dining room and seated us with 6 others each time. We are by no means picky people, but when we are told “yes, yes, yes” and the complete opposite happens, it’s not the best feeling. The dining room itself is nice, but where we were seated for the late dining slot, the speaker above our table didn’t work and the nearby speaker over compensated for this blaring music and p.a during dining staff parade.
I am not kidding, there was always a line at Guest Services. The exception was on port days. The staff must have loved port days! I’ve never seen anything like it, so many people with issues. Yet even the smallest of issues they would stand in line?? On separate occasions, Dane & I deactivated our sea pass cards but waited until we walked past Guest Services and there was a short line to go and see them. Honestly the wait times were crazy! The day our passports were being distributed, Dane & I missed the time slot allocated to our deck. So later that night we lined up at Guest Services (in the nice long line) to enquire about receiving our passports. One of the crew walks the line helping with simple issues and advised us that passports were being issued on deck 2 and to head down there. To cut a log story short, there was NO ONE on deck 2 apart from 4 other cruisers who had been told the same thing. We went back up to Guest Services who sent us back down to Deck 2. We then found 2 youth club workers cleaning toys who tried to phone Guest Services for us, but were on hold (I had tried multiple phone calls as well to avoid going up and down, bit no answer). We then went back to Guest Services. 2 of the other cruisers looking for their passports were taken out of the line so we followed them and low and behold…as we were wondering around between deck 2 and guest services, another worker had kindly taken all passports back to Guest Services and no one made any announcement. There was a stack of passports left too!
Also, early one morning I was trying to live stream something online (we brought wifi onboard for a few days). I was having difficulty due to the server so contacted guest services via phone and was told they would ring me back. I’m still waiting for the call back.
Ports of Call.
We enjoyed the ports of call. I had read reviews on Trip Advisor etc, as we had never been to Sanya. So we knew this part of China spoke very little english and there weren’t many signs in english to be seen. Apparently a lot of cruisers didn’t do this, nor did they listen to the announcements advising of this because we heard so many complain.
We are glad we went to Vietnam because now we know we want to go back at some stage. Because we had planned to go to parts of Thailand after the cruise (this included Bangkok), we only ventured around Pattaya which we thoroughly enjoyed with the overnight in Laem Chabang.
We did an excursion in Sanya & Ho Chi Minh, both booked through the ship. We enjoyed the both of them very much and the tour guides on each were great!
Dane and I purposely arrived at Hong Kong port around 2pm to miss all the long lines, which we did. Boarding was so much quicker than in Sydney.
Disembarkation was a circus. Even though you were allocated waiting times/areas to get off the ship, for some reason there were hold ups everywhere. To the point where they opened 2 exit points, yet we all had to wait due to Singapore’s delays. What, we are not sure because they failed to communicate this to us onboard leaving many cranking/opinionated people waiting. People had tours and flights to catch…there were many delays. Lucky for us, we booked flights for 3pm so had plenty of time.
Dane & I have learned that dependant on where you board a cruise ship determines the ethnic groups working onboard, and who the ship caters for most of all. Which is fair enough. But we did meet a fair few cruisers who weren’t impressed about the number of activities onboard (they felt there weren’t enough), the night club atmosphere, the tv programs in staterooms etc. I mean, it seems self explanatory that RCI would have a number of cantonese/mandarin speaking employees onboard where english is not their first language to cater to those travellers from that particular region. Also, Asian culture does not party, drink alcohol or expect such things as westerners do. For instance, the night club was nothing like when we sailed from Sydney to the South Pacific. They were catering to a very different dynamic. Whereas the night club onboard Voyager was very low key most nights. Usually starting with oldies songs for a couple of hours and didn’t get so rowdy. I think we we up there 3 times, and the first 2 times was for less than an hour. We thought there were ample activities onboard for all age groups. The DreamWorks team are awesome and I’m sure everyone from all age groups had photos with the characters. The workers are hard working of course, and we spoke to many of them on a regular basis. Most were very excited to speak with us because the Voyager will be in NZ in January and they can’t wait to see our lil’ country.
We enjoyed the cruise and Voyager very much. For us, it was the opinionated people onboard who were the downers for us. But if people did research before hand of what to expect, I think they would have been better informed. Also, I may be bias but I do prefer the Rhapsody. It’s smaller and a bit more intimate so you are able to see crew members more often to have those daily catch ups etc. and we were married on Rhapsody too! Haha.
Hope you are able to draw something from my long winded review haha. Sorry, but writing 2 sentences just wouldn’t cut it so now you have a novel :)
Gina & Dane, WA