Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Today we arrived in Dunedin. The ship docks at Port Chalmers which is about 10km away from the town of Dunedin.
Last time we were here we took a ship's excursion to the gorge.
This time we took a shuttle bus arranged by the ship into Dunedin and spent the morning shopping.
It is a pretty town and reminds me of Adelaide a bit.
We had sunny weather again so we were very happy about that.

The Sun Princess was in town also today and I got a few photos of the ships together.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tauranga - excursion review

Today we went on an excursion organised by RCI to Rotarua.
We visited a Maori cultural centre and the geysers and mud springs. It was a good excursion that even kept Michael interested and that takes a bit!
The crowds there were huge as there are two cruise ships in town today.
Michael and Trevor learned how to Haka!
What a hoot!
We got some great photos and the sun was out too!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Today we spent the day in Auckland. We did our own thing and went on the Hop on Hop off bus.
We spent some time at an aquarium and the kids really loved it.
We went there with our new friends Maria, Darren, Caitlin and Aiden.
The sun came out too so it was a good day.
We are back on the ship now and headed to Tauranga. We have an excursion booked there so we are looking forward to it.
Check out the pics from today's outing.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Dreamworks Family Breakfast

Today we went to a Dreamworks Family Breakfast.
You have to book for these so be sure to book through Room Service or Guest Relations when you board as these book up fast.
We were lucky because on this cruise there are hardly any children so we got booked for the first one and with a few more to go on this cruise we may even get to go again. Each one on the cruise has different characters.
The way it works is that the breakfast is hosted in the main dining room and in a special section.
When you arrive and are seated you get your own special menu (see photo below).
You order your breakfast and then the Dreamworks characters come out and do a little dance before offering a photo opportunity with kids and adults too.
At our breakfast today we had characters from Madagascar....Alex the lion, Gloria the hippo and King Julien.
We attended with another family who we have met on thus cruise and all had a good time.
The experience is free so it's worth it if you have kids.

Check out the photos below. Some include our new friends Aiden and Kaitlin.

Auckland tomorrow!!

Tomorrow we arrive in Auckland.
The seas were a little rough on the way over but mainly strong winds.
Better today though.
A Funny thing is happening on the way to NZ, they are changing the ship's time in the middle of the day!
On all other cruises including one to NZ, ship's time has always been changed overnight, just like when we have daylight savings time comes in at home.
It is the weirdest thing because it means that when midday comes, it is automatically 1.00pm!
I wonder if any other cruisers have experienced this?
Anyway, back to Auckland, we are looking forward to getting off the ship and doing some looking around on our own in Auckland. We don't have any tours booked in this port.
Hopefully we will get some sunny weather....

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Set sail for New Zealand!!

Tonight we set sail for Auckland. We sail for three days and arrive on Saturday. During the next few days we hope to do a galley tour and meet more of the Dreamworks characters.
We hope the weather is kind to us as we hear that strong winds are predicted. Lets see how this ship handles.....
Today I got some more photos around the ship including a popular lounge called Cleopatra's Needle and the awesome theatre on board called 'La Scala' named after the famous opera theatre in Milan.
Check out the photos

Michael meets King Julien from Madagascar

Noumea - Tour review

We had been to Noumea before on two previous cruises and had been on the Tchou Tchou Train excursion.
This time we booked the Noumea Sightseeing and Aquarium tour.
It went for 2 hours so not a problem for Michael's (9 year old) short attention span.
The first part of the tour was tour of the city in a lovely bus. The guide covered information about the architecture and history of the city and New Caledonia in general also. It was interesting to learn more about the French heritage and current French rule of the colony.
Interestingly, they are considering having a referendum to decide about being independent from France as there is a growing independence movement.
We had some stops for photos and then went on to the Aquarium which Michael really enjoyed.
If you have children this is a good tour. I would recommend it highly.

Dreamworks experience on board Royal Caribbean ships!

Royal Caribbean International has a Dreamworks experience on some of their ships including Voyager of the Seas.
The kids love to see their favourite Dreamworks characters around this ship from Madagascar, Shrek and Puss in Boots.
Some of the events include :
- Dreamworks Parade
- Dreamworks Family Breakfast

The characters also visit the kids club and come to movie screenings for photo opportunities.
We went to the parade yesterday and got to see them all dancing away. Will post some photos once we have got a few together.

Back in Sydney

We have arrived back in Sydney after the first 9 nights of the cruise which is the end of the first cruise we have booked.
We went to Noumea as planned but missed our port of call in Fiji due to an electrical fault in the engine room that prevented us from sailing on time instead we spent a second day in Noumea while they fixed the problem.
Many passengers were disappointed but when cruising you have to accept these things.
Royal Caribbean offered all passengers a voucher to the value of 40% of this cruise fare off the price of their next cruise. We felt that this was generous. Some wanted refunds as they may not book again but in our case, we were going to book again for Alaska next year so this will work out very well for us.

All the passengers got off today and went home except for around 20 of us who booked two cruises in a row.
We were notified to be in a conference room at 5.45 am sharp this morning so that we could be processed by customs.

We were not taken off the ship and reboarded as we expected so we got up at the crack of dawn which I have to say was hard after sleeping in for the last 9 days!!
It took a while but eventually the customs officer turned up and we were out of there.
We then had breakfast after which I went back to bed!!
Here I am now with a quiet ship all to ourselves...,we have decided not to go ashore today. 3100 guests will be embarking in less than an hour so we are preparing ourselves for the hoards.....
On the 9 night cruise there were over 500 children who I have to say were on my nerves sometimes running around, stomping in corridors at night, playing in the elevators and being generally badly behaved. Remember that I have a 9 year old and he has his moments but I would be horrified if he behaved in that way and would not allow it. On this cruise apparently there are only 56 kids so I expect a different crowd this time.
I have likened living in a cruise ship for a month to living in a shopping mall. The minute you step outside your stateroom there are hoards of people pushing and shoving just like in shopping malls. People tend to lose all their manners in these situations.
Add to that the fact that the ship had these large events on board that can attract up to 2000 people at once, imagine the mess!!!
Anyway we have been to some if those so the next 18 days will allow us to avoid some of those situations.

Voyager of the seas in detail....

We have been on the ship for eight days now. In the beginning it was hard to get around and find things given that the ship is so big. By day 5 we were still discovering places that we had not seen yet.
We are now able to find places without getting lost.

The cabins are nice whether you have an inside stateroom or a suite, they are clean and well looked after.
Cabin selection is a personal thing based on budget and lifestyle. If you spend most of your time on the deck or doing activities and only want a place to sleep and shower, an inside or outside cabin would be fine. Whereas if you want your own balcony then a balcony stateroom or suite is the way to go. For us, we tend to spend some time in the cabin so we prefer a suite to have a little extra room.
Out of interest when comparing our grand suite with ones we have had on Radiance, this one is a little smaller but still very comfortable for us.

Similar to other RCI ships, there are a few dining options.
The Windjammer is the buffet where you can have casual meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We don't enjoy eating in buffets, the crowds, pushing, shoving and the like make the experience less than relaxing. The food in the buffet has been OK. We have always found something nice to have.

In addition to this, there is the main dining room where you have a la carte service for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have generally only eaten there for dinner, The food has been really good. The waiters are excellent and do a great job looking after you. We have not had a bad meal r a cold meal there so for those of you who have read reviews that talked about cold awful food, be assured that you will always have a wonderful meal in the dining room.

Voyager has two specialty dining venues, Portofino (an italian restaurant) and Johnny Rockets (a 50s style diner that serves burgers and the like). Each has a cover charge payable. They are worth a try.

The Royal Promenade
Voyager was the first ship to have the promenade shopping mall concept in it. The promenade is a mall that extends through the centre of of the ship.
They have parades and shopping and some pubs and cafes. This concept went on to be bigger and better in subsequent ship designs.
Check out the photos

Next post, more about the ship and onboard activities....

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Days at sea exploring the ship

We have been at sea for the last few days.
Voyager is big and in the first instance we found it hard to navigate.

Calm seas have graced us so far, we have been lucky.

Lots of walking around to find things.....we took some photos of the Royal Promenade, the ship's mall complex. see what you think.
Some shots of the pool deck are also included.
Tomorrow Noumea and we are going on an excursion......

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Grand Suite 1564

Here is our home away from home for the next 28 nights.
A little smaller than the ones on the Radiance but nice enough and enough space for the three of us. We don't want to be tripping over each other.

We are on board Voyager of the Seas! Fiji and New Zealand cruise 28 nights

We have made it through the dreaded check in. Wasn't too bad....anyway we are on the ship now. Here is a pic of the view from the deck of the ship...

Cruise day is here!! Yippee

The day we have waited for all year has arrived.
Today we board Voyager of the Seas.
Showers are predicted later today for Sydney which is a pity but we'll make the most of it.
Voyager has been in port since yesterday, not sure why.
Last night we had dinner at Giovanni's restaurant, Michael had the biggest meal I have seen him eat in ages.
Better go now as we are about to head off to the port, lets hope boarding is smooth and quick!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Voyager of the Seas 28 night cruise to South Pacific, Fiji and New Zealand here we come!

Trevor, Michael and I are ready to set sail on the longest cruise we have done yet. This cruise will involve back to back cruises on Voyager of the Seas for 28 nights.

We board on the 10th of February in Sydney and disembark on the 10th of March in Perth.

This cruise will be a trial for us to see if we can hack it on a ship for 28 nights!

We are so excited to go to the south pacific again, New Zealand and to some Australian ports also.

I hope to do some reviews of the ship and the locations we visit so please log on or even subscribe to the blog to keep up with things.

We are again very fortunate to have the ability to travel and take our child around the world and are thankful every day of the opportunities we have in our lives.

May the seas be kind to us and have safe passages!

Alessandra Daley