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Need input re RC's Voyager of The Sea's Caribbean cruise

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Oct 30th, 2001, 06:11 PM
  #1
Cheryl Z.
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Need input re RC's Voyager of The Sea's Caribbean cruise


Hi - am contemplating taking their one week cruise in Jan. '02. It leaves from Miami, spends full days in Hispaniola, Ocho Rios, Georgetown, and Cozumel. Any input on that ship, and the destinations for that time of year?? Have been on one cruise - NY/Bermuda about ten years ago and enjoyed it but my husband didn't. This cruise would be with a group of friends, and I'll be ready for R and R in the sun. Thanks much.
 
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Nov 1st, 2001, 04:02 PM
  #2
Mark
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Hi Cheryl,
We just returned from a cruise on the Voyager and sailed the same itinerary you're considering for January. You're probably aware that the Voyager (& her sister ships Explorer and Adventure) are the biggest passenger ships ever built and you'll be impressed, but not overwhelmed by her size. Even though there were about 3400 hundred passengers on board, we never really felt crowded, except when embarking in Miami and disembarking at some of the ports. It wasn't much different than sailing on some of the "smaller" megaliners like the Majesty of the Seas, which I was on about two months ago. We had an inside cabin - the cabins on the Voyager are much roomier than the ones on the older Royal Caribbean ships and the shower stalls have doors, which is a big plus. If you can afford an outside cabin, especially one with a balcony, do it. The Voyager had two outdoor pool areas, one of which (the Solarium) was reserved for adults only. When you want R & R by the pool without the music/bands/a lot of talking, the Solarium is a great alternative. There are also jacuzzis located in both pool areas. I thought this was the best part of the ship. There are also a couple of nice dining options - a Johnny Rockets restaurant and a deli/bakery which is open practically around the clock. They're nice alternatives to the dining room and the Windjammer/Island Grill. Other than that, you have the ice rink, putt-putt golf, casino, shopping mall, etc, etc. etc. to keep you occupied.

As for the ports, they're all a little different and we liked everyone of them. Labadee (Hispaniola) is beautiful - it's on a small peninsual at the base of these mountains that rise right up out of the sea (bring aqua socks or water resistant sandals because some of the beaches are rocky/pebbly). My advice is to tender over as early as possible in the morning so you can walk around, get the lay of the land, and then decide where you want to claim your space (there are several beach areas to choose from). You also have some shore excursion opportunities there. Ocho Rios was fun - we ocean kayaked to Dunn's River falls and then walked up the falls. There are other things to do there. Grand Cayman has great beaches, but do not buy the ship's Beach Break excursion (if going to the beach is what you're into). It is a rip off - just ask the taxi driver to take you to a beach on 7-mile. All you need is beach towel and it doesn't cost you anything. Grand Cayman is small and can be congested, especially if there is more than one ship in port.
Cozumel has spectacular beaches - we rented a Chevy Tracker and drove ourselves around the island - definitely the way to go if you're into exploring on your own, or even with a small group (cost=$50 to $60 bucks including gas, all day and mileage is not extra). Stay away from the Cozumel beach break and Jeep Safari excursions - we were told that they weren't great experiences. I have been Tulum before and it was very interesting and the scenery was great, however it makes for a long and tiring day and you won't have any time to do anything else. We were late leaving Cozumel because we had to wait on some passengers to get back from Tulum.
As for the weather, I've been in the southern Caribbean before in Jan/Feb and found the weather to be great. Although some days tended to be on the cool side, which was upper 70's.

I've read a lot of reviews from people who found a lot to complain about, especially with Royal Caribbean. I had no complaints - we're actually sailing again next month on the Monarch of the Seas. Have fun!
 
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Nov 1st, 2001, 10:14 PM
  #3
Paul Therault
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Excellent review Mark.

Paul
 
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Nov 2nd, 2001, 04:20 PM
  #4
Cheryl Z.
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Mark, thanks so much for the info! I'd done a search on here and found some reviews - mostly positive, and few negatives, but info went back to '98, so I'm glad to hear from someone who made the voyage recently and was satisfied. Looks like we're doing this for sure. (and thank you Paul, too - I've read your cruise comments on here before too.)
Oh - one last question, if you don't mind...were there "formal" nights and how many, and just how fancy did the women get dressed up?
 
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Nov 2nd, 2001, 08:32 PM
  #5
Mark
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Cheryl,
There were at least two formal nights - I saw a lot of tuxes and nice (dark) suits on the men. Most of the women wore nice evening dresses. People were definitely "dressed" up. (We chose not to go formal this time.) Hope this helps!
 
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Nov 2nd, 2001, 09:51 PM
  #6
Paul Therault
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Both the Voyager and Explorer seem to me to be more laid-back casual compared to the more casual elegance of the other RCCL ships. But the majority are wearing suits or sport jackets not necesssarily a dark color. But do not forget ..... those formal protraits are sooooo nice with the dark colored jackets.

I have seen many women in cocktail dresses as well as gowns on formal nights. There are two.

Paul
 
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Nov 6th, 2001, 04:44 PM
  #7
Cheryl Z.
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thanks!
 
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Jan 25th, 2002, 04:31 PM
  #8
Cheryl Z.
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Well, we are home from our cruise and I thought I'd pass along my opinions on the ship and the destinations. There were 9 in our group, all friends who decided to book this around the end of Oct. and got good rates. Some had previously cruised, and some hadn't.

First the ship -
What can I say? It was everything we expected and then-some. Even my husband who said he'd never cruise again (had one cruise l0 years ago) enjoyed it and would go again even if to just stay on the ship!
Our cabin was quiet, large, spacious, plenty of storage, lights, mirrors. We had an ocean view balconey and that was worth the extra money - great sunsets, it makes the cabin appear bigger too, plus we often left the sliding doors open at night and listened to the ocean.
The ship is HUGE and there is so much to do. I was concerned that with the amount of passengers it carried (and they sold out) there'd be crowds and lines and noise. But never had to worry about any of that.
The spa was wonderful! Several of us used their treatments, as well as the gym. I took the yoga class in the gym, and then in the early mornings I'd go to the back of the ship by myself (back of Johnny Rockets) and practice yoga with the sun coming up, listening to the ocean. The food and service were very good, the shows were terrific but didn't get see all of them. Especially loved the ice skating show - compares to any of the professional shows I've seen with the big names.
Every one in our group was impressed and satisfied with most everything. I also talked to another woman who had been on about 20 cruises and said this ship was among the best. She did mention that her cabin overlooking the Promenade on the interior was very small, but that it was not noisy. I'd asked her about the noise level since their window looked down on the Promenade where there was always alot of noisy entertainment, parades, lots of activities.
More later!
 
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Jan 25th, 2002, 10:31 PM
  #9
Paul Therault
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The Atrium staterooms that overlook the promenade are very small compared to the higher category cabins but they are larger than the normal lower category cabins.

The only time I experienced any "noise" is during the two parades where if you were outside the sound is rather deafening.

Paul
 
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Jan 27th, 2002, 06:22 PM
  #10
Cheryl Z.
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Some more info if interested:
All 4 destinations take US currency - in Labadee, have small bills as it took us quite some time to get change for a twenty for a $l0.00 t-shirt.
There's quite an emphasis on shopping, not only at the destinations but on the ship too. If you really are thinking of getting a Rolex or any other watch, or gold or diamonds etc., do some research at home first. I just don't know how one would know these were good deals at these sites or on the ship otherwise.
In Cozumel, if you decide to visit any ruins, be sure you bring some mosquito repellant. Mine was conveniently left back on the ship, even after I'd read on this board to bring some! And I got eaten alive.
Pack light: formal nights - there were two, and I could've easily have worn the same dress!
My husband wore the same nice black suit those 2 nights. Some men had tuxes, most just nice suits.
And a warning about FLL airport if that is where you fly out of (I posted this under my "Cheeca Lodge" msg on the US board too) - the airport is swamped on Sat/Sun because of the cruise crowds. Allow plenty of time for getting thru security. They are not fast or efficient, and the lines are long because of security.
 
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Jan 27th, 2002, 10:23 PM
  #11
Paul Therault
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As per Ft. Lauderdale just about every weekend lately there are no lines that are any longer than other U.S. The lines also move quickly.

If you plan on purchasing jewelry in the Caribbean you should bring an appraiser with you. More times than not the gold that is marked 14K is not that at all but is less than 10K and that is not considered gold. If you are buying becasue it looks pretty and it is within your budget then it certainly is OK but remember most times you can buy it for less in the U.S. from a reputable jeweler. Granted it may be guaranteed by the cruise line but it takes some doing to get your money back.

As far as Rolex is concerned, all retail stores in the world sell the product at the same price. There can not be any markdowns since the store will lose its franchise. You will of course save the tax but then what would you do for service? Most dealers in the U.S. service the watch at no charge. If you are looking for a Rolex and wish to save money buy one used. You will find them at estate sales.

Paul


 
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Feb 17th, 2002, 03:46 PM
  #12
ttt
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for jane
 
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