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momof4_tn

Voyager 1/7/2012 NOLA sailing review w/ pics

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I was determined due to the lack of information on this ship/sailing that I would return with a complete review. That said, I'm not sure how some of you do such in depth reviews. Of course we're fairly new to cruising, so I tend to get easily distracted with what we're doing and forget to take pics until it's too late.

 

I am Angie (35) and I cruised with my husband Bill (51) for our 10th wedding anniversary. We both work very intense schedules and have four kids at home, so this was to be a relaxing and laid-back trip for us. I can tell you right now you will see from what we missed how laid-back the trip became, but we had a wonderful time and felt extremely well taken care of. I have all 7 days Compasses that I will try to get scanned, I have about 1/3 of my pics uploaded to photobucket, and 3 days journaled so far. So bear with me as I attempt to give you our review.

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So looking forward to your review. Was your sailing Jamaica, Grand Cayman then Cozumel or the reverse?

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Pre-Cruise – We left our home in Tennessee on Friday, January 6th around 10:30 a.m. We drove down through Birmingham, Tuscaloosa AL with a lot of Roll Tide fans on their way down for Monday’s game. On to Meridian, MS and then stopped about 45 minutes outside of New Orleans near Slidell, LA to spend the night. We stayed at a Microtel in what I think was Pearl River area. We waited a little to late to book something in New Orleans, plus with the Saints game on Saturday, plus the LSU vs. Bama game on Monday we knew the downtown area would be crowded. We’re not really crowd people.

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Day 1 – We woke up on Saturday morning and left our hotel around 9:30. We arrived in New Orleans and at the port around 10:15 a.m. As we entered the port area there were a lot of people coming off the ship. Voyager was the only ship in port that day so I can’t imagine what it would be like with multiple ships, but for us it was not bad at all. Police/security were directing traffic and were friendly when we asked to make sure we were headed the right way. We proceeded to the whale lot, paid $112.00 with credit card and they gave us two tickets with a receipt. They said to make sure we kept up with both tickets for our return.

Side Note - I will add here that I had planned to park at Fulton Garage, but when I went online for reservations they were full. I think parking at the port worked out better for us anyway. We had no problems finding a parking place. We gave our luggage to the port guys who were standing in front of a Ryder truck. I will say it was a little unnerving to leave your luggage in the parking lot, but it was a whole lot closer than dragging it with you. The guys taking the luggage were quite friendly and personable.

We were processed in and sitting in seats by around 11:30. We were handed a noro information sheet and sprayed with hand sanitizer. They said we would not begin boarding until 1:00 due to cleaning that was going on and invited us to go over to the RiverWalk and said we could then return. They stated we would have to go back through security, but they would have a special line for those returning. We opted just to hang out in the chairs and charge our phones. We had boarding group 1-A, so that was the first group called after suites. I read another review that talked about the waiting area being packed and not having places to sit. Everyone had a seat while we waited, and we didn't have any issues with the staff in the waiting area.

They started boarding a little before 1:00, and we were on the ship by 1:00. Staterooms were to be ready around 2:00. We went to get lunch in the WJ and explore the ship. FYI – I kept wondering when/where we would find the Compass. It was at the entrance to the Windjammer on top of a model of a ship. It wasn’t obvious, but I was on the lookout. I’m not sure where you normally pick one up, so this was new to me.

We had a nice lunch in the WJ, checked out the helipad, and then went to check out our stateroom. We were in Room 7354, which is a Balcony Room. It is considered Aft (rear ship), but it really wasn’t that far from mid-ship and for us it proved to be an excellent location. We were near the Library and the rear elevators. Could ride up to the WJ or the pool decks and be right there, or go down the steps two floors and be at the Promenade or the Magic Flute Dining Room which was where our dinners were.

Our attendant “Ace” was in the hallway when we arrived, introduced himself, and gave us his card. We went to our Muster stations, and then went straight to our stateroom to be on our balcony as we pulled out around 4:45. We booked MTD and I made my reservations for 6:15 each night. We were told it could be up to 9 p.m. to get our bags. By dinner we had all but one bag. Since we weren’t flying I really didn’t see the need to separate our clothes so the missing bag was mine. I had nothing to wear for dinner but the clothes on my back. After dinner we went down to the “naughty room” to make sure it wasn’t down there, although I knew I didn’t have any contraband. It was not there, it was also not in the room across the hall for unindentifiable luggage. We spoke to the person in charge to find out what we needed to do. He was a little rude, definetly unconcerned, and said just to be patient it could be 10 p.m. or later. If we didn’t have it by then we could file a form with guest services. At this point my husband is getting a little upset because he knows I have nothing except what is in that suitcase. He scoured the whole 7th deck and found nothing. A couple of hours later still not bag. We went down for a snack and when we came back we decided to split up and go look. I made it about 10 doors down and there sat my suitcase. My theory – my bag had been rummaged through and a Ziploc bag containing Q-tips, and some other cosmetic items was sliced with a knife/razor blade. I think something showed up on x-ray that sent it to be checked out. When nothing was found I think they just sent it up to the 7th floor and it got set down. Most of the room attendants were done for the night so it probably wouldn’t have been noticed til morning. Suffice to say Day 1 left a bad taste in our mouth.

Dinner – Our server was Julio who was absolutely amazing. He was extremely attentive and took great care of us. I had a spinach salad and Prime Rib, my husband had the Pork Medallions both were really good. Julio brought us an extra appetizer to try. I can’t remember now what it was, but it was good and had been one of his recommendations. We learned by Day 2 that you would try what he recommended even if you didn’t order it. Needless to say after night 1 we adjusted our dining time and stayed with Julio.

Side Note - He also did add at the end of the dinner Day 1 that there was a dress code for the dining room and that shorts were not allowed. However, on Day 2 (first formal night) there was a couple sitting behind us who must not have gotten the memo from their Server Day 1. She said she was extremely embaressed to find out it was formal night and they showed up in shorts and t-shirts. I find it hard to believe she didn't know, but whatever I guess.

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Parking Lot (Whale Lot)

 

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Waiting Area (one side)

 

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Our Room 7354

 

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View from our Balcony before leaving Port

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Front of Ship from Helipad

 

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Pool Deck Boarding Day

 

It was 67 degrees, but still not a lot of activity on the Pool Deck Day 1. That's the only difference for me from cruising out of Florida. It was Day 3 before it was comfortable enough for me to put on a swimsuit.

 

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Sailing Away from our Balcony

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Very nice pictures. Thanks for sharing. We sail on her on Jan 28th. Sorry to here about your bag on day 1.

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Day 2 – At Sea

We woke up and went up to breakfast in the WJ. We explored the Sports Deck and played some ping pong. It was pretty comical ping pong because the wind was cruel. We did some more exploring, went to the room to get cleaned up, and then back out. Our M&M was at 11:00 in High Notes Lounge. We almost missed it, but we got there shortly after it started. We were suppose to have approximately 70 people, but I would guess about half of that showed up. They had water and orange juice, some cookies, and looked like little sandwiches. I don’t think they even took the plastic off the food. They gave out the little notebooks on a string for everyone. The Cruise Director ran the M & M. They drew for a couple of hats, keychains, one bottle of wine, and one bottle of champagne.

We did lunch in the WJ and then spent some time on the pool deck listening to the band. The sun was great, but the wind made it cool. I’m not sure how people were tolerating the pool. We did go to the hot tub in the Fitness Center later in the afternoon, which was enjoyable. One of the hot tubs in the solarium was closed due to maintenance. Not sure when it will be reopened. It was funny when we checked out the other Solarium hot tub as there were people shoulder to shoulder. The one inside the fitness center had 2 people when we arrived and it’s huge. We then headed up to get ready for formal night.

Formal night was nice. Bill wore a suit with tie, and I had a black cocktail dress. We had pictures taken on Deck 5. We went to dinner at 5:45 to keep Julio as our waiter. This is the night of Escargot. Now I’ve never had snails, and it is not something that I’ve ever wanted to try and nothing had changed. Of course it was a recommendation. We both ordered a shrimp cocktail and Julio brought us a order of escargot with it. We both laughed there was no way we were going to try it. I told Bill (Husband) I had read on here that it was mainly butter and garlic flavor and then a little chewy. He tried one and then said I had to as well. Amazingly it wasn’t gross, still not something I would order but it was nice to try and had Julio not brought it we never would have tried. We both had the Filet of Beef, his bloody mine not. Bloody and not bloody were the options Julio gave us. He said that was the easiest way to make sure people understood that one was medium to medium rare. I’m pretty sure he brought an extra entrée this night as well, but neither of us can remember what it was. He didn’t bring anything we didn’t care for. I took a small nap after dinner and then we went out for a snack and ended up in the middle of the Welcome Aboard Parade.

I will apologize for the lack on pictures on this day. As I said we are still new to this, and by the time I realized what was going on it was too late to take a picture. Several missed opportunities.

Day 3 Cozumel coming up tomorrow. I have to load more pictures, and I hope to have the Compasses scanned tomorrow. Stay tuned.

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Day 2

 

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Flying Fish (not sure if you can see them)

 

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Rock Climbing Wall

 

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Sports Deck

 

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Elevators

 

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Pool Deck Day 2

 

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View from Deck 5 Dining Room

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Thanks for posting. I look forward to the rest of your review. My family will be on this ship during spring break and I already am counting down the days.

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Day -3 Cozumel

We arrived in Cozumel at 8:00. We were up before we pulled in and went straight up to the WJ for breakfast. We swore we were going to eat a small breakfast because we have been eating so much already. We had planned a beach day at Nachi Cocom. The weather was gorgeous. I think high 70’s and sunny. We got off the boat around 8:30 knowing that Nachi opened at 9:00 a.m. We went out the port following the signs to a taxi. All the rates are posted. We paid $15 for the cab ride. It took about 20 minutes to get there. We arrived and they posed us for a picture. We were among the first 10 people to arrive. We got a nice spot on the front row. Nice shady palapa or you could pull your chair out for full sun. Our waiter came by and asked for our reservation. We paid him our cash. He asked what we wanted to drink. Bill asked for something with Kaluha and I just started with diet coke. I mean it’s 9:00 in the morning. I shortly changed over to strawberry daiquiris. I think I had 4 before I realized oh my. Once they figure out what you’re drinking they keep them coming. You can order whatever you want, it’s really up to you. They had bottled water, several bottled beers, and mixed drinks. Bill finally asked what you called what he was drinking. The waiter said it’s a Dirty Monkey. Go figure. He was hooked. Lunch was included and it was delicious as well. I had fajitas and he had the enchiladas. We had guacamole and nachos for an appetizer. We were stuffed. They called us a taxi when we were ready to leave. We ended up sharing a taxi with our neighbors as they were leaving at the same time and we were on the same ship. Originally the taxi driver didn’t want to take us since we weren’t “together”. We told him we would both pay the full fare, but we really didn’t want to wait for another taxi as they were all on the other side of town. We left around 1:30 and did a little shopping.

Summary on Nachi Cocom – We loved it. It was the relaxing beach day we were looking for although I was surprised to see how many people brought children there. My hope had been most people with kids would go to those places that had the water activities for kids. Not that any kids bothered us just way more than we expected. Keep in mind we have 4 children at home. This was our 10 year anniversary trip away from our kids, so we’re not anti-kid just if we want to be around kids we’ll bring our own. It was extremely relaxing to kick back, read a book, and enjoy the weather. I will say the water was too cold for us. I’m sure we would have eventually got use to the water, but it just wasn’t appealing. I would also recommend water shoes. The sand was very abrasive and unstable in the water. Based on our experience, I would definitely do it again.

We came back to the ship and rested for a little while. I decided I wanted to watch for those people running for the boat. At 3:30 which was the time to return to the ship I went out to our balcony. The Cruise Director (Keith) was down there waving people in, but no one really seemed to be in much of a hurry. Around 4:00 we decided to go get a drink we went out to the helipad (which was closed as they were varnishing railing that day). We stopped on Deck 4 to still watch people arriving to get on. They were still paging 8-10 people at this point. Jewel was in dock beside us, and they would all cheer from their balconies as another one of our passengers would run to get on the boat. We did end up leaving one couple behind. Not sure what happened to them, but I did think it was a little nuts that we waited for over 45 minutes for these people, and to top it off we’re not talking one of two people but 10-12 people that totally ignored the time the Captain requested we return to the ship.

We then went to get ready for dinner, although we were not really that hungry. Tonight was the Captain’s Menu (I think). Bill had the clam chowder, and I ordered one of the salads for an appetizer. Julio had recommended the Crab Cake, so of course he brought us one. Here again neither of us normally has cared for a crab cake, but we tried it and it was delicious. There wasn’t anything on the main menu that appealed to me so I ordered the Salmon from the Alternative Menu. Bill had the Sole. Julio had recommended the Seafood Skewer plate (can’t remember the name) so he brought it out for us to try. I had a couple of the shrimp off of it and Bill tried the scallop. As you will notice I don’t mention the desserts, honestly there weren’t many in the main dining room that were very memorable. There was a banana crème brulee that I thought was good.

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Pulling in to Cozumel

 

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View from WJ

 

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Nachi Cocom

 

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My View

 

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Lunch

 

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When we booked it had asked if you were celebrating any occassion. I put it was our anniversary so they brought us dessert with a candle in it.

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Us

 

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Jewel in Foreground, Voyager in the Background

 

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This guy was waiting for us after dinner one night.

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Great review with pics. My wife is the photo taker & uploader, plus most of our pictures were of us, not so much of the ship. Sorry we were one of those couples with kids @ Nachi :-p

 

Did you also hear that the ship wasn't full? It was great not having to spend time looking for seats at the Windjammer, pool, bars, theater, etc. What did you think of the staff? We thought it was the best in our many cruises on RCI. And Keith's memory was incredible. Don't know how we remembered us after meeting us once briefly and then running into us two days later.

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great review keep the pics coming, we were on this cruise also and our waiter did the same thing bringing extras saying try this:D

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Thanks for your review and photos! We are sailing for the first time Feb 11, celebrating our 15th anniversary ( a little early) and my 40th birthday.

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Thanks so much for this review! Keep it comin'! We're on the Feb 4 sailing and our first time on Voyager. TN people rock! :D

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Thanks for the review and pics! We may very well do this itinerary one day since we live so close (Alabama...Roll Tide! :)). In the meantime, we are booked on a Southern Caribbean cruise on the AOS, so its nice to see pics from another ship in the same class.

Edited by BamaTraveler

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Thanks so much for this review! We're going on Navigator from NOLA next year so I appreciate the details. Can you tell me if the ship was still decorated for Christmas when you got on board?

 

Thanks!

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Thanks so much for this review! We're going on Navigator from NOLA next year so I appreciate the details. Can you tell me if the ship was still decorated for Christmas when you got on board?

 

Thanks!

 

No, there weren't any decoations remaining for Christmas when we boarded.

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Great review with pics. My wife is the photo taker & uploader, plus most of our pictures were of us, not so much of the ship. Sorry we were one of those couples with kids @ Nachi :-p

 

Did you also hear that the ship wasn't full? It was great not having to spend time looking for seats at the Windjammer, pool, bars, theater, etc. What did you think of the staff? We thought it was the best in our many cruises on RCI. And Keith's memory was incredible. Don't know how we remembered us after meeting us once briefly and then running into us two days later.

 

We're the opposite my husband is the picture taker, I am the uploader, and we're in hardly any of our shots. There weren't any kids at Nachi that really bothered us, mainly it just didn't seem like somewhere I would take mine and expect them to have a good time. There was a group of rowdy college boys off the Carnival ship behind us.

 

I had no idea whether the ship was full or not, but we had no issues ever finding tables, chairs, waiting in line, anything. It was really nice.

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Day 4 – Grand Cayman

I have to say this was the day I was most excited and nervous about. I was nervous about how the tender would work, and whether we would make it off in time for our tour. For our sailing, we stayed on ship time the entire week which was New Orleans time. Grand Cayman and Jamaica were an hour ahead. This was not an issue unless you had a private excursion scheduled, as you were just to stay on ship time. We had booked a private excursion through Moby Dick Tours. I can’t say enough good things about Moby Dick but more about that later.

We headed up to breakfast around 7:30. We were supposed to arrive between 9:30 and 10:00 in Grand Cayman. Tenders were to begin between 10:00 and 10:30. We had an excursion at 11:00 (noon Grand Cayman time). If you booked an excursion through the ship, your excursion was your ticket to get on the tender. If you booked independently or were just going to the island, you had to obtain a tender ticket at 9:30. We finished breakfast around 8:30 and went down to where the tender tickets were to be handed out. There were already 4-5 people in line. Bill decided to wait there while I went to the room to get ready for our day. We got in Group 1 which is actually called after VIP’s and suite guests. They started calling around 10:15 and we waited close to the stairs on Deck 4 to walk down when they called us. We arrived around 10:40 on land and checked in with Moby Dick.

Advice – If you don’t get in Group 1 and you really need to get on one of the first tenders, they didn’t actually look at our tickets once they had boarded the important people. I asked at Guest Services and several other people to find a loop hole in their system in the days leading up to Cayman and everyone said you won’t make your excursion.

After checking in with Moby Dick, we waited for others to arrive and time to leave. They walked us over to a bus and we rode approximately 15 minutes to meet up with the boat. Once getting on the boat we were given some background, history, and snorkeling advice and equipment. There were 6 ships in Cayman that day so the stingray area was quite crowded. They took us to the snorkeling spot first and it was great. The moray eel swam right underneath me and I totally freaked out. After a fair amount of time snorkeling, we boarded the boat and headed to the stingrays. I have tons of pictures of this but the pictures don’t do the experience justice. It was so amazing to be in the water with the beautiful creatures that were so tame.

We then headed back to where we started and the bus was waiting to take us back to the port. Several people wanted to stop by 7 mile beach for a photo op. The bus driver stopped and we waited for those who wanted back on the bus. If you wanted to enjoy the beach, you could grab a bus back later. We went to a restaurant close the ships and on the water that was recommended by the Moby Dick staff. The restaurant was Rackam’s and we ordered the fish and chips to split. It was really good and they even gave us each our portions on individual plates. We sat on the water and the view was nice. We would see a Disney ship, Celebrity, our Voyager, two Carnivals, and a NCL ship. After a bite, we walked down to the Hard Rock so I could pick up t-shirts for myself and my teenager. I have to say Cayman is one place I can’t wait to get back to someday. We caught a tender back and prepared for dinner. Tonight Julio recommended the Beef & Veal Tortellini for an appetizer and it was really good. This night appeared to be a newer menu. Had several things I haven’t seen posted before on the menus. Bill had a Jalapeno Potato soup. Entrée’s he had the Beef Shoulder and I had the Ziti w/ marinara as I just really was not that hungry after our late afternoon fish n chips.

Up next Falmouth, Jamaica. The review is getting harder because this is where I left off with my notes on ship so they will start to get shorter I think.

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Snorkeling

 

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This was guy was a little freaky up close and personal.

 

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Bill talking to the Stingrays

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