The Voyager of the Seas (VOTS) is a huge ship unambiguously longer than the Titanic or even the QE2. Her 13 decks are full of surprises for the passengers.
She is faster than the Titanic and can carry more 50 percent more passengers than the latter. She is also just as fast as the Titanic at 23 knots.
If you are a first time cruiser in the South East Asia region, here’s a review of Voyager of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) particularly on the Singapore to Phuket stop.
The photos were all taken with a GoPro Hero 5.
Review of Voyagers of the Sea (Royal Caribbean)
This ship is just one of the many ships that Royal Caribbean has. For this review, we sat on Voyagers of the Sea which is from Singapore to Phuket, and back to Singapore.
Vacationers can expect a fun-filled, fully engaged time on board during all waking hours. Indoors or outdoors, this ship is designed to cater to all manner of interests.
You can choose to dine, watch a movie or performance, or even partake in trivia competitions and a bit of casino gambling. You can even learn new dance moves or do yoga or even do napkin folding.
Outdoors, you can choose to do rock-climbing, golf putting or even swimming in the various pools provided. Additionally, you can simply laze in a deck chair or relax in a jacuzzi if you’re just in the mood to relax.
One of the top attractions outdoor is the FlowRider where you can surf against the curtain of jets of water.
Dining in VOTS
The best thing about dining on board is the flexibility of choice, i.e. you have either complimentary or specialist dining. One can choose to avail to the flexibility of a buffet style spread at Windjammers or even to the fine dining meal served by dedicated waiters at the Main Dining Hall named Sapphire Room.
Various specialist restaurants offering other cuisine caters to the more discerning taste of selective diners.
1. Windjammers (Buffet at Deck 11)
From Indian cuisine, to continental to Chinese style, from desserts to cheeses, from various type of teas and coffee, one cannot reasonably say that variety is lacking.
Many passengers were pleased with the selections. No doubt a testimony to the wide variety of delicious dishes available conveniently spread across the part of the room.
The restaurant overlooks the aft part of the ship and provides a commanding view of the sea. Certainly one should not just sit in only one part of this large restaurant ,to maximize the enjoyment of this visual experience.
2. Sapphire Room (Fine Dining at Deck 3, 4 and 5)
One is amazed by the size of the Sapphire Room which occupies 3 decks space at the aft part of the ship. The service is good with 2 dedicated waiters at each table.
The menu comprises selections from the starters, entrees and dessert section. The orders are accurately taken and the dishes are flawlessly served in the correct sequence.
3. Cafe Promenade (all-hours cafe at Deck 5 on the main street)
This cafe is very convenient especially for those who stay up past normal sleeping hours. Coffee, tea and an assortment of sandwiches, cakes, pizzas are normally available. Nothing like a hot drink and small eats for those intending to maximize their waking hours.
4. Specialist Restaurants at various decks (fee applies)
For those who like variety outside the complimentary dining provided within the holiday package, you can actually check out Johnny Rockets or even Japanese food, among others. These are of course, not part of the package and requires additional payment.
Entertainment (movies and performances)
Various performances are scheduled usually during the evenings as the ship cruises to the next stop.
Enjoy the ice skating extravaganza at the ice skating ring. Or even watch a 3-D movie at the movie theater. You can also watch the sing and dance shows put up by the Royal Caribbean. Be enthralled and mesmerized during the show by a renowned magician.
Even the cruise director puts in his hilarious jokes which helps to make the trip more meaningful and memorable for many vacationers.
Rooms in Voyager of the Seas
There are different types of rooms in the Voyager of the Seas, but you should try to get those with a balcony as it has a sea view while sailing.
Here’s the interior of the room.
The space inside the room is quite okay and behind the curtains is the balcony.
There are also rooms that are facing the most happening area, where parades and parties are organized. As you can see in the image above, those are all rooms (where the children are watching).
Port stops – Port Klang and Phuket
One of the interesting things about cruising is that one wakes up to the sight of the new scenery at the new port in the morning. The ship has moved on while the vacationers sleep.
This effect is more satisfying if one occupies an balcony room. Otherwise a stroll on the decks can deliver a similar sensation.
Port Klang – Boustead Cruise Centre
An unexpected sight awaits here. The sight of Malaysia’s most infamous super-yacht just outside the balcony is a surprise. The sight of the USD 250 million floating object just metres away from the VOTS can be surreal for many Malaysians.
The news that the ship will be sold in December 2018 means that this attraction is no longer available for trippers.
The covered walkway from the ship to the Cruise Center is quick and convenient. The Center is quite basic with shops selling some local products and souvenirs. A free wifi is available as well. Taxis are on standby if needed.
The remote location of the Cruise Center means that independent vacationers must already have made plans before the ship arrives. Kuala Lumpur is nearly 60 km away and would take normally 1 hour. Taxi fares are also rather steep.
Perhaps Grab can provide an alternative to regular taxis. Traffic conditions may also be unpredictable where congestion can easily affect travelling times. So the independent traveler may need to be more cautious since the ship’s stay in this port is quite short.
Trippers may be better off with the excursions organised by the Royal Caribbean. This provides a measure of confidence that they will return to the ship on time before she sails. More peace of mind to be honest.
Phuket (Deep Sea Port)
Depending on when you’re visiting, the port may be different. It can be the Deep Sea Port or Patong beach (the latter is better). During our visit, the ship stopped at Deep Sea Port.
Access to and from the shore is by tenders provided by Royal Caribbean. Arrangements to board and go on board the tenders are well organised. Queue numbers have to be taken to board.
The frequency of the tenders both to and from the ship is good. The tenders are fair-sized carrying about 120 passengers each and the ride is about 15 minutes.
The 12-hour stay allows one to experience a bit of a night scene here. However the town is quite far from the port and you may not be able to visit the town area.
Many trippers are satisfied with just venturing around the port area. Some are content to walk around the port vicinity, take a sumptuous Thai lunch at a local eating place and do some shopping at the local supermarket nearby.
Many trippers prefer the excursions organised by the Royal Caribbean. The independent explorer can take the offers made by many transport providers at the port.
Be prepared to negotiate the fare and the places to be visited. The trip to Patong Beach which is on the western side of the island or to Phuket town is about 30 minutes.
Once the short stop at Phuket is over, the ship is ready to set sail back to Singapore and that’s where the journey ends.
In a nutshell
Voyager of the Seas was a great experience especially if you’re a first time cruiser. It’s definitely one of the best ways to relax and enjoy the holidays.
It may be pretty full during the peak, so it’s better to go on weekdays (other than public holidays) if possible.
This review was written by Richard.