Thursday, February 28, 2008

Our Mediterranean Cruise

We were attending a “ Seminar at Sea” courtesy of our Royal Caribbean Representative. The rate was good and we saw it as an opportunity to familiarize ourselves with some of the airports and ports we would encounter when we take a group to Europe in 2008.
Being off-season, we found the airports easy to get around , not like the last time we were in Europe when the Charles de Gaulle airport was a nightmare. Arriving from Paris after an uneventful flight we took a taxi to the ship and began cruise check-in, which, surprisingly, proved to be quite easy.
The Voyager is a beautiful ship! The huge atrium was the first area I encountered as I entered the ship and I was quite impressed. Making our way to our cabin we settled down for the seven day cruise. We had been assigned an interior cabin. Compared to some other cruise lines, Royal Caribbean ships have slightly smaller cabins but our cabin was very pretty and conveniently arranged. I would have preferred at least an ocean view, but the price was right so I couldn’t afford to be picky.
The more we explored, the better we liked the Voyager. It was easy finding our way around the huge vessel, and, of course, we found our way to the welcome buffet. It was tasty and the view from the Windjammer Café was spectacular. Service was so friendly and efficient it was almost shameful. Personnel appeared out of nowhere to attend to our every need.
Although the ship was fully booked, I didn’t get the feel of a crowded ship. The many lovely lounges were spacious with adequate seating. The halls were wide and pleasant and the casino was large and well-lit. We did not participate in many of the activities such as the rock climbing (are you kidding…) or the ice skating (I can’t walk and chew gum), but the other passengers seemed to love it. The ice show was wonderful.
We were quite busy attending classes in the morning, but we were able to visit the ports in the afternoon. Each port was exciting and different. We visited ports in France, Italy and Spain. We took the train to the tiny country of Monaco and visited it’s famous casino. In Rome, we visited the Coliseum, St. Peter’s Square and the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain and the Piazza de Espana. What an exciting, historical city!
The ship was fun! We consumed hamburgers in Johnny Rockets, made our contributions to the casino, caught a show or two, danced a little and strolled the decks in the moonlight. But perhaps, the most fun was the dining room. Our waiter “Bullet“ was a true comedian, as well as a great waiter, the food was delicious and the Travel Agents at our table were friendly and congenial. We found ourselves looking forward to dinner each evening.
In the afternoon Ovi would make his way to the workout room while I lay on my lazy duff and enjoyed some of the latest movies, then we would spify up and walked the spacious decks, taking in the beauty of the lovely Mediterranean Sea. These romantic moments were among our favorites.
The Voyager of the Seas, our “home away from home” was everything one would want a ship to be. Spacious and beautiful, it provided comfort, great service, good food and entertainment. Our time spent there will be remembered as one of the best of our travels.
Tip: Although it is possible to see the sights on your own. I recommend taking the ships tours.
We did it on our own, taking trains and busses and subways, but it was very difficult and
Eating ashore is fun but very expensive because the dollar is weak. You may want to
consider taking all meals on the ship.