Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Sea : 4D3N Full Review, Guide and Tips!



Our first cruise at Royal Caribbean in 2019!

Having a taste of  Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Sea, we would like to share our experiences with you. If you are new to cruise or just looking for tips on Voyager of the Seas. this guide from a cruise noob may be just what you need to see if cruising is for you.

Warning: Long Post Ahead.
Alternatively, you can check out our video too!


Note:
The Voyager of the Sea had undergone a multi-million facelift in 2019 and is set to sail on 21st Oct 2019. Some parts of this review might change after the facelift.



Why Cruise?






Due to PSLE exams, we could not afford the time to enjoy a long vacation. Instead, we decided to source for a fuss-free short holiday. The first thing that came to our mind was a cruise. Since we had experience Royal Carribean before, we decided to book a 4 Day 3 Nights trip.

Initially, we were supposed to head to KL and Malacca for this trip. Due to unforeseen tide activities, our itinerary changed to a one-stop at Penang. Regardless, we decided to proceed with this trip.

How much?
Voyager of the Sea

Cruising was not as cheap as anticipate. Since our oldest boy turns 12, he is considered an adult. Our fare for 3 adults and 1 kid came to a fee of about $2800. The price included tips, so we do not have to give extra tips on board.

Was this a good deal?

Considering that accommodations, food and most entertainment were taken care of onboard. this would probably work out to cost as much as a trip to Penang via a flight. Given that there were no limits to our food and entertainment, we decided it made sense to proceed.

There was also a stopover for a shore excursion in Penang. Having taken plans to preplan our own shore excursion, we did a tour at a cheap $50 for the whole family vs $50 per pax if we were to follow the ship's group tour.

You can read about our shore excursion here.
Voyager of the Seas

Packing Tips
What to pack
Packing for a cruise is relatively simple. Here is what we packed

  • Shirts and shorts for 4 days
  • Sandals / Flipflops
  • Swimwear for watersports, don't forget sunblock too.
  •  Sneakers for jogging and other sports
  • 1 smart outfit for dining ( not necessary if there are no formal dinners, but if you would like to dress up to eat in a fancy Main Dining Room for dinner, you would have to as bare feet and tank tops are not allowed)
  • Toiletries - toothpaste  and toothbrush
  • Bottles of Water- You can bring 12 standard cans (500ml) of non-alcoholic beverages and 2 bottles of wine per stateroom, These had to be hand-carried and not check-in. Bring water for consumption in the room. Water is provided at the restaurants.
  • Recording equipment - Cameras, Go Pro, etc
  • Snacks for room consumption


What not to pack
Do not bring these items

When we were disembarking, we saw a few items that were taken out of the passenger's bags when they first arrived.  Some people bought kettles, extension cords, thermal cooker and even vegetables to cook on board. Do not try to bring all these as they will be confiscated before you board. You probably can get most of it back when you return to Singapore.

For the list of prohibited items, refer here.

Pre Departure tips
Before you set sail, these are some tips to make your boarding more pleasant.

1) Before the trip, book your shore excursion and other extras ( wifi, etc) online.

 It will be cheaper than when you book on the cruise
Internet Package


2) Check-in online
Do a pre-check-in and you could skip the queue to head straight to the front
Check-in

3) Print your setsail pass and luggage tag before the trip
Just drop your luggage and go when you arrive. Otherwise, you have to check n your luggage outside the building

All ready

4) Carry a cabin luggage bag to put your extra clothing
You might need them if you are doing activities. You probably would not see your luggage till later in the afternoon, so carry your essentials with you.

5) Check-in as early as you can. 
You can enjoy the ship and even have a meal on board before it sets sail. If you intend to have a meal, be at Windjammers (Deck 11) for a buffet or Cafe Promenade ( Deck 5 for light snacks. Be as early as possible before the crowd arrives to grab your seat. There will be a mandatory drill at 4 pm before the ship sails.
To ship


6) Exchange passport for Seapass
Check-in procedure is simple, you will exchange your passport for a Seapass,
Documents required for boarding

It's a room and credit card, so don't lose it! NRIC is not required for the exchange. You just need your passport.
Seapass

Boarding will be done by colours, presumably dependant on your type of cabin.
Boarding group: Purple

 For kids, they are required to wear a tag throughout the trip to identify their ages for activities
Tags


7) When you are on board, take a copy of the Cruise Compass
One will be provided in the room. You could also get additional copies from the customer service (Deck 5)
Get your Compass to plan for the day

The Cruise Compass will give you a snapshot of the day's activities, dining hours and daily deals. Use that to plan your day for the cruise. You would most likely NOT cover all the activities, so choose the ones you would like to do first.
Cruise Compass


8) You can explore the ship and do selected activities if they are open. 
There will be a compulsory mustering drill that you cannot skip! Do that and you will be ready for your cruise thereafter!

What to expect
There are four main things to look out for when you are onboard. They are dining, activities, entertainment and shore excursion

Dining
Dining is free and included in your cruise. However, not all restaurants are free. There are 8 main dining experiences onboard. Out of these, only 3 are complimentary. They are as follows :
WIndjammers

Windjammer Cafe (Buffet), Cafe Promenade (Quick Bites), Main Dining Room (Fine Dining)
Cafe Promenade
 Main Dining Hall

Speciality restaurants come at additional cost. They are as follows :

Izumi (Japanese) Chops Grille (Western), Giovanni's Table (Fine Dining), Johnny Rockets ( Fast Food) and Ben and Jerry ( Dessert)
Izumi


Giovanni's Table

Chops Grille

Johnny Rockets


We reckoned the food at complimentary restaurants are good enough for us.  For the Main Dining Area, you would be provided with timing before you board. The timing will be printed on your seapass card. You can choose to eat there at other times but you would need to book in advance for dinner.


As for Windjammer, it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Cafe Promenade is opened 24 hours should you feel the need for supper. You can also have complimentary room service if you are craving for a snack ( menu is limited)


R Bar (Level 5)

There are also a few bar and pub areas for you to chill on the main floor ( Level 5),
The Pig Whistle (Level 5)
If you are looking for a quieter time, head to Viking Crown Lounge (Level 14) to chill and enjoy the view.
Viking Crown (Deck 14)

The Schooner Bar(Deck 4) is also a quiet spot to unwind.
Schooner Bar(Deck 4)


Drinks are chargeable and you could get a drink package before boarding or onboard.

Activities
Swimming Pool
Sports Activities
The main sports activities on board are

  • Pools
  • Rick Climbing
  • Ice Skating Rink Lessons
  • Flowrider
  • Basketball court
  • Table Tennis ( 4 tables)
  • Mini Golf - 9 holes
  • Running Track
  • Perfect Storm ( New from Oct 2019)
  • Battle for Planet Z - LAser Tag Game


Basket Ball and Rock Climbing
These activities are free and included on your cruise.
Table Tennis


There will be an upgrade in 2019 and Voyager of the Seas will be getting a US$97 million facelift with 72 new staterooms, two new interlocking waterslides dudded the Pefect Storm- as well as Battle for Planet Z, a Laser Tag game.

Source: Royal Carribean

There are also upgrades to spaces for kids and teens which newly design spaces for them. This means that there will be more things to do on board the ship when it is out in the sea. The Voyager will make a return to Singapore shores this month on 21st Oct.
Source: Royal Carribean


With the upgrade, we might even make another trip!
Spa & Fitness Center
Other Activities
Arcade Center @ Voyager of the Seas


  • Other activities  on board are as follow
  • Arcade centre
  • Spa & Fitness Center
  • Kids and Family Challenges
  • Dance Lessons
  • Game Shows
  • Bingos
  • Mass Exercise
  • Movie Screening - At the Pool Deck and La Sacla

Do check your Cruise Compass for the daily activities. Adults can head to the Spa and Fitness Center to unwind.

Not all activities are free. Some like cupcake decorating classes and spa treatments are chargeable
Cupcake Decorating Class

There is even a shopping district for your retail therapy.
Fashion District
For teens, they would also have a place to call their own.
Teens only Disco

For adults, there is always the Casino when you are out in international waters
Casino Royale


Entertainment
Before the upgrade, the main show is the 'Ice Odyssey' Ice Spectacular. This is a must-watch if it does return to the facelift ship. The main show is at Studio B ( Deck 3)
Studio B


There are also daily performances by the crew themselves at the LA Scala Theatre (Deck 3). The performances changes daily and can be quite fun to watch.

Shore Excursion
Penang Shore Excursion

Last but not least are the shore excursions. Depending on your itinerary, you will be given time to go onshore for a short tour. You could choose to join the tour group or go your own itinerary. There is no need to take your passport along as you disembark and board using your Seapass. We made a stop at Penang and decided to do our own customise tour there.

Types of rooms

There are 4 different types of rooms at Voyager of the Seas. The basic room would start from Interior rooms with no window. It does come with a wallpaper of the Ocean to mimic a window.

The next grade would be the Ocean View Room. It has a similar configuration as the Interior Room but it comes with a closed window that has the Ocean View.
Interior Room

Next up will be the Balcony Class. The Balcony Class come with a balcony where you can chill and enjoy the Ocean Breeze. They will have twin beds that can convert to a Royal King. Besides, there is a Pullman bed in staterooms that can sleep 4.

Balcony Room

If you happened to have a corner Balcony room at the back of the ship, it is slightly bigger than normal balcony rooms and comes with a bigger balcony too.


Lastly, for more space, you might want to take up the Suite Staterooms. It comes in a configuration of Junior Suite, Grand Suite- 1Bedroom, Grand Suite 2 Bedrooms, Ocean View Panoramic Suite, Owner's Suite and Royal Suite. Pricewise would be as much as First Class on a reputable flight. These suites also come with various benefits on board.

 It's not cheap by any standards, but if you can afford it, why not?

Plug
Rooms come with different plugs than the ones used in Singapore. Do bring adapters onboard.
Animal Towel

Rooms are also clean daily and you do have a minibar fridge for you to keep the waters cool. For some reason, it would not be as cold as the normal fridge, but it is better than nothing.
Mini Fridge

The toilets reminded us of the ones in Japan. Small but functional for the Balcony and Interior Room Class.

Toilet: Voyager of the Sea



Our Itinerary

Still not sure how to plan your day?
Here is a snapshot of our 4Days 3 Nights Itinerary

Day 1
Friday
We set sail on a Friday for a 4D 3 N cruise on Voyager of the Sea

11am  - Arrive at Cruise Center for Check-in


12pm - It's time to board the Voyager of the Sea



1230 pm - Our first stop was at Windjammers (Deck 11) for lunch.

Windjammers Buffet

We were one of the earliest but seating was limited
Lunch @ Windjammers

1pm - After a quick lunch, its time to explore the ship!
No crowds yet...

On the way, we grabbed Free ice cream ( Deck 13)

1.30 pm - Our rooms are ready, so we decided to check it out


We managed to get the AFT  (back of the ship) corner balcony stateroom. Rooms at the back will get the uninterrupted ocean views over the wake. The corner rooms are bigger in size and have a bigger balcony. We managed to get it for the same price as the usual balcony cabin. It even has a pole for dancing!
Room Balcony


230 pm - Our first activity was rock climbing(Deck 13). There were not many people as most are still getting ready to board or having lunch.

Shoes and gears are provided for Rock Climbing
Let Climb


3pm - We played a round of mini-golf (Deck 13) nearby
Mini Golf
Clubs and balls are provided for free
Mini Golf

320pm- It was time for another activity as we decided to play some Table Tennis (Deck 12)
Table Tennis 

4pm - The compulsory Mustering drill (Deck 5) took about 15 minutes

Compulsory Mustering

430 pm - It's time to set sail!
Goodbye Singapore


430pm - After the drill, we decided to head to the Libary for a little downtime
Libary

530pm - We had the 530pm slot for dinner at the Main Dining Room (Also known as the Sapphire Dining Room. As mentioned, your slot will be timing will be printed on the seapass.



There are entrances on several floors, but the main entrance would be on Deck 3. You need not dress formally, just smart casual would do.
Dinner Menu

Dinner was not spectacular but decent. The ambience was nice. You might need to share a table if your group is small
Dinnertime
630pm Sunset on Deck 13
We caught the sunset over the ocean. What a view!
Sunset

7pm - Arcade(Deck12)  There is a one-hour free play at the arcade for non-ticketed games. Best time to visit as it is free for everyone!
Free Arcade games


930pm - Our first show was the "Ice Odyssey" Ice Spectacular (Deck 3). We arrived 30 minutes before time to be close to the front of the queue. Do queue early as seats are on a first come first serve basis. The best view would be from the front row, centre stage.
Ice Odyssey @ Voyager of the Sea

The show is performed by professional ice skaters as it is equivalent to a world-class performance you would see on stage. Bring your camera, as photography is allowed.

A photo tells a thousand words!
Ice Odyssey @ Voyager of the Sea

Ice Odyssey @ Voyager of the Sea

Ice Odyssey @ Voyager of the Sea


Ice Odyssey @ Voyager of the Sea



1045pm Head to La Sacla ( Deck 3) for "Rock Rhapsody - The Hits of Queens".
The Hits of Queen

Only caught the last few songs but us was great!

We grab some bites from the Cafe Promenade(Deck 5) before heading back to our room,
Bites from Cafe Promenade


11pm - Time to head back to our room for a nap...



Day 2
Day 2

Today we will reach the shores of Penang for a shore excursion. Yipee!

8am Breakfast at Windjammers ( Deck 11)
Breakfast @ Windjammers

Breakfast was at the Windjammers.
Breakfast

At 8 am, it was considered late already as the place was packed. The Carrot Cake is a must-try.

Carrot Cake


There are plenty of options for breakfast. It was enough to fill us up.

945 am Queue for Ice Skating (DEck 2)
Ice Rink

You need to queue for ice skating. We suggest you do popular activities like ice skating, flow rider and the new slides as early as possible in the cruise. That way, you would beat the crowd and maybe have time for seconds.
Let's Ice Skate

1030am - It was a short wait but it's our turn for ice skating.  Ice skating was a 2 round around the rink. There are minimum protection with only helmets provided


1pm - Lunch at Windjammers (Deck 11)
Awards

It's as crowded as breakfast. Plenty of variety. The taste was ok, not Michelin Star but we are not complaining.
Wind Jammers meal


230 pm We reached Penang!
Penang

3 pm - Disembark for Penang. We head to the Gangway(Deck 2 ) to exit the ship

Gangway
3-7pm - Penang DIY shore trip
Diy Penang
We did a DIY Penang shore trip for less than $50 for 4. Our itinerary includes Peranakan Pinang Museum, Wonderfood Museum, Chew Jetties, Hawker Food and Street Arts.


We do not need to take a taxi and simply just walked around Georgetown as the attractions were pretty close to one another.
Street Art @ Penang
There is culture, history, food, interesting museum and Instagram worthy sites for our 4-hour long itinerary.

For a more detailed itinerary, do check out our Penang shore excursion here.

7pm Headed back to the ship
Back to Voyager

730pm-  Dinner at Windjammers (Deck 11)
View of Penang


We head back to the ship for dinner. Although we did had some hawker food, we were still hungry especially after a long afternoon walk. It was practically empty when we had our meals and we had a good seat with a with of Penang and the sunset
Dinner @ WindJammers
8pm - Ship leaves Penang
Georgetown


815pm -  Entertainment at La Scala  (Deck 3)
La Scala

Royal Carribean's Production Show starring the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers in Music in Pictures. We managed to catch a show as our last activity for the day at La Scala Theatre ( Deck 3)
Music in Pictures

10pm We grab some bites at Cafe Promenade before heading back to hit the sack
Bites at Cafe Promenade

On the way, we walked through the Casino. It's not open as we were not in International Water
CAsino





Day 3

Day 3

630am Woke up early in the morning to take a walk around the ship. Bring your running shoes if you intend to have a jog around the ship

Pool

Adult only deck
Lifebuoy


730am Breakfast at Main Dining Room
Since our itinerary had been changed, we had an extra day to explore the ship. Normally for a 4D 3N cruise, you would be heading to another destination. For the Penang cruise, Royal Caribbean tends to pair it up with Phuket.

Our breakfast was at the Main Dining room for a change. Instead of dishes, you get to order selected dishes.

Since we are on board for the whole day, we decided to take it easy today.

9am Boogie Boarding. Flowrider ( Deck 13)
FlowRider

You have to do this when you are at Royal Carribean as this is one of their signature activity. Be early if you intend to go for a ride!

10am Pool time (Deck 11)
Pooltime

Honestly, the pool was too small for us. Swim vest and towels are provided and you need your sail pass to get them.
Swim Vest



We only stayed there for a while before heading out to grab a free ice cream on Deck 12



1115am Zumba Dance Fitness Class (Deck 5)
Zumba Dance

A little dance to get our adrenaline pumping.  It was a mass dance on the open deck 5. Just bring your dancing shoes!
Auction

Spotted an auction for paintings. Looks interesting but we decided to give it a miss.


12pm Lunch at Main Dining Hall (Deck 3)
Lunch Menu @ Main Dining Hall
For a change, we decided to have lunch at Main Dining Hall

Main Course
For Lunch, the atmosphere is different from the Windjammers. It was a more relaxing experience. You order your main dish from the menu instead of a buffet.
Main Course
Food looks and tastes better than the Windjammers. You could get seconds if you are not full.
Desserts
There is a 'buffet' spread for starters.
Starter Buffet
There was a Kid's Menu too!
Kids Menu


1pm Exploring the ship (Deck 14)
Viking Lounge

We head to the Viking Crown Lounge( Deck 14 )as well as the chapel (Deck 15 ) to explore the ship. The Lounge was relatively quiet and a good place to chill while the chapel had been transformed into a toddler's play area. This was not stated in the map so it is a secret spot on Voyager.
Chapel converted to Play area

2pm We were back at the Arcade for some serious gameplay.
Back for more games

We ended up with a couple of prizes from the tickets we won. Your best bet on winning will be from the game Deal or No Deal!
Prizes


4pm Headed to the Promenada shops (Deck 5) for some last-minute shopping.

We got ourselves a little souvenir from the extra credits we received because of the change in Itinerary
Souvenir

515 pm Family Bingo at Adventure Ocean (Deck 12)


Next destination was the Adventure Ocean for a game of Family Bingo. We might not walk off with a prize but it did introduce the family to Bingo!

630pm Dinner at Windjammers (Deck 11)
Sunset View

At last, on our last night, we manage to get a window seat to watch the sunset as we have our meals. Surprisingly, it was less crowded tonight compared to the pass.
Dinner @ Windjammmers


745pm We caught our last Headline Showtime featuring ' Comedy of Funny Bones' at La Scale Theatre ( Level 3), it was pretty good!

Comedy of Funny Bones

9pm Ended the evening with a movie at the poolside Certainly brings a whole new meaning to Movie under the stars!
Add caption

11pm - Back to our cabin for the night

We had to leave the luggage out for the staff to pick up overnight.

Day 4
7am - Woke up bright and early because we are reaching Singapore in an hour

Managed to grab last-minute breakfast at Main Dining Hall( Deck3). We would prefer Windjammers for breakfast due to the variety.


745am Saying goodbye
We took a slow walk to our disembarking destination after the meal to savour our last moments with the Voyager



8am Reach Singapore


Disembarkment went pretty smoothly. We were disembarked according to our floors and had to wait for our turn to leave the ship

Our luggage was waiting for us at the cruise centre. Look out for your disembarkment allocated number to you to collect them.
Collect your luggage at the Cruise Center


9am Heading home
Don't use this!

If you are taking a cab, DO NOT take those at the door, they will charge you a lump sum of $55 upwards. Instead, once you exit, walked towards the end of the carpark and you will reach the normal taxi stand. Standard rates apply.

There is a proper Taxi Stand


It was a fun trip for the family. We spend most of our time together onboard.
Checking out


Quick Tips for families

1 Keep your sail pass with you all the time. That is your effectively your wallet and passport. You need to bring along your sail pass for meals

2 Go for a meal first before the crowd comes, Wake up as early as possible.

3 Use the Cruise Compass to plan your day
Cruise compass

4 Go early for activities and shows to beat the queue

5 There are kids friendly activities on a separate Kids Daily Planner

6 Forget about swimming, the pool is too small.



9 Don't forget the free ice cream.

10 There are free movies at the Pool (Deck 11) and La Scala Theatre ( Deck 3) to keep the kids occupied.

11 Bring extra water - you need them

12 Level 5 Promenade is the best place to eat for kids. They have pizza and cakes to keep them happy.

13 Plan your own shore excursion. It is more flexible with kids

14 Leave your gadgets at home. With some much to do, there is no time for anything else!

#This is not a sponsored post. Royal Carribean, if you would like us to review your new facelift Voyager of the Sea, we would gladly do so. Drop us a mail here!

No comments:

Post a Comment