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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Voyager is an older vessel used by Voyages of Discovery for their “Small Ship Cruises”. Our October 2016 cruise was from Larnaca, Cyprus to Alexandria for Cairo, followed by Port Said through the Suez Canal to Sharm El Sheikh, Aqaba, ... Read More
Voyager is an older vessel used by Voyages of Discovery for their “Small Ship Cruises”. Our October 2016 cruise was from Larnaca, Cyprus to Alexandria for Cairo, followed by Port Said through the Suez Canal to Sharm El Sheikh, Aqaba, Jordan for Petra, Safaga for Luxor then Salalah and Muscat in Oman. The vessel was said to be full with about 400 passengers. Passengers that took the ship’s excursion in Alexandria was said that it was a disaster due to traffic delays, even with a police escort. The buses arrived at some attractions after dark and were over two hours late coming back to the ship. We took a taxi from the port with the driver only hitting one other vehicle while showing us the sights! Be careful to agree and write down the price, currency as well length of sightseeing before leaving the Port! The desire to enforce cleanliness with many antiseptic stations seems rather pointless when every passenger identification card has to be handled by the same person when entering or leaving the vessel. Having to swipe the card rather than use the typical laser scan the card also slows down the process. Signs to “Use a paper towel to open the toilet door when leaving” is made difficult by using a waste bin that requires acrobatic maneuvers in order to dispose of the towel, again somewhat negating the purpose. Our cabin care was efficiently handled by Resty who was very pleasant and helpful. As usual single knob water taps cross contaminate and waste large amounts of water when seeking a desirable temperature without scalding. Most of the Voyager bedrooms feature the "wet" type shower that can clean up the toilet bowl at the same time should the shower curtain not be correctly positioned. Having plastic “keys” with the cabin number printed on them could be a problem for passengers that mislay their keys. The Discovery Restaurant had open seating with a good food choice and service. Visiting the Veranda Restaurant could be a problem, however, as it was frequently busy and overcrowded. Many of the plates and glasses had chips and the occasional cutlery item was not completely clean. These problems were particularly noticeable at the Veranda Restaurant. A security drill and talk by the Captain was given prior to entering the "pirate" area at the southern end of the Red Sea. Razor wire and water hoses were also positioned in order to minimize the possibility of being boarded. Fortunately these precautions were unnecessary. With several "sea days" the lectures were appropriate and interesting. Transport at Muscat to the airport was very efficient. Airline ticketing for many passengers, however, was a mess as they departed from one London airport and returned to another! Additional planning could have easily eliminated this inconvenience. Flying with Emirates was an added pleasure. All things considered this cruise was an extremely good value, especially for UK passengers, as the air flights were included. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We were recommended by friends who were regular travellers on the Voyager. Though sceptical about cruises in general we booked last minute on a special offer, choosing this particular cruise for the excellent Greek/ Turkish itinerary. ... Read More
We were recommended by friends who were regular travellers on the Voyager. Though sceptical about cruises in general we booked last minute on a special offer, choosing this particular cruise for the excellent Greek/ Turkish itinerary. The deal was for an inside cabin allocated to us - though we requested, and were given, an upper deck centre ship cabin which we found was perfectly adequate considering the price paid. Very comfortable beds, fresh towels, small but adequate shower room and all toiletries provided. Beds were turned down and even a chocolate on your pillow at night! For those seeking glamorous 5 star cruising this ship is not for you but the amazing friendliness of the entire crew, happy and relaxed atmosphere, interesting lectures and ports of call simply made our holiday. Food in abundance and choice of restaurants cannot be faulted - eating outside on the Verandah a great treat! Voyager is a special little ship - suited to anyone who enjoys the company of like minded interested people who are happy with the "country house" feel of the lounges and entertainment areas. Suitable entertainment every night by a young and talented cast is optional or just a quiet read either in the library or listening to varied individual musicians we found to be especially relaxing. We hope to rebook a further cruise on Voyager in the very near future and recommend it without hesitation to anyone. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Prefer small ships. Wanted to go to the Adriatic. Had sailed on company's previous ship. Booking arrangements good but speakers and extension possibilities not available on line even on eve of departure. Travel to /from ship ... Read More
Prefer small ships. Wanted to go to the Adriatic. Had sailed on company's previous ship. Booking arrangements good but speakers and extension possibilities not available on line even on eve of departure. Travel to /from ship efficiently handled. We had a suite so cannot review smaller cabins, ours was excellent. Ship was very clean but is showing signs of age. Public spaces very good. Food good quality, well prepared & presented both at buffet and in restaurant. Mainly traditional British menu, classic but not adventurous. Entertainment was very good. Busy schedule restricted the number of lectures which were well presented by knowledgeable speakers. When bad weather prevented access to Monomvasia the alternative of Napflion was quickly arranged & proved to be a delightful spot. Catering/entertainment/cabin staff all very efficient, polite & cheerful. Shore excursions efficiently handled. We tend to make our own way as we find 'excursions' often overpriced and formulaic compared to the less informative but far more flexible (and cheap) ones available at the entrance to most terminals, but that's just us. All in all an excellent cruise and good value for the money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
The ports visited were ideal for our smaller size vessel enabling us to dock when larger ships couldn't. The island stops were so interesting and the lectures prior to each stop were excellent. Other topical lectures were ... Read More
The ports visited were ideal for our smaller size vessel enabling us to dock when larger ships couldn't. The island stops were so interesting and the lectures prior to each stop were excellent. Other topical lectures were entertaining and interesting. Shore excursions were disappointing, but these were provided by local people who seemed more like history statisticians and could be quite boring. They were quite expensive and better value was available from the taxi drivers waiting at the end of the docks! All the crew and staff were absolutely wonderful. Food better than expected. My wife and I didn't attend any of the shows. With all the exploring ashore each day, which is why we chose this cruise, we were not needing night entertainment. It was a great success and the voyage on Voyager will be very fondly remembered. Actually, we would do it again ! but organise our own shore excursions. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Booked this cruise because of the itinerary and from that point of view we were not disappointed. We are not cruise experts, having only previously been on one Thomson Canary Islands cruise and two European river cruises. However, ... Read More
Booked this cruise because of the itinerary and from that point of view we were not disappointed. We are not cruise experts, having only previously been on one Thomson Canary Islands cruise and two European river cruises. However, Voyager and Voyages of Discovery were sadly lacking in comparison. The ship itself is ok and our inside superior cabin would have been absolutely fine if it wasn't for the awful noise from both the aircon in our cabin and the aircon services cupboard right next door. To be fair the reception staff did show us another cabin on the floor below, despite being fully booked, but we felt it was not as nice as ours so we accepted the ear plugs offered and put up with the noise. Was particularly disappointed because we had specifically asked for a quiet room when we booked last year! The showers are also unacceptably tiny and only the fact that there were curtains rather than glass made it possible to bend over to reach your toes without knocking yourself out. Most of the staff were reasonably friendly, but we felt the Fillipino waiting staff were often stressed and not their usual smiley selves. The young entertainment staff put on some good shows, but don't book this ship expecting the slick productions you'll get on the larger ships, one of the trade-offs for choosing a smaller vessel. The ship itself doesn't have enough cosy areas to sit quietly on sailing days. One of the lounges, The Darwin Lounge, is given over to talks and presentations and is set out as such, so it doesn't make it a particularly pleasant place to sit and read or even sit and watch the shows which are put on here. And why are all the public areas so very cold? Found the port talk guy particularly boring, he was just reading from a script, and the dance couple were completely lacking in charisma of any kind, don't think we saw more than half a dozen people joining them for pre and post show dancing the whole trip. 5 of our 7 stops we went ashore by tender and that was an experience in itself. Having known in advance we would be going ashore by tender I would have expected a somewhat slicker more organised procedure than we got, but at least we did manage to get ashore in all places. It is also not acceptable to expect people to sit and wait until all the people who had booked excursions had been taken off the ship. We too had paid for our cruise and, as such, should have been treated exactly the same. Just because people had booked extortionate trips with VoD should not give them preference over disembarkation, it is not the fault of the passengers doing their own thing if VoD don't organise things better, and we all have limited time ashore. And who thought it was a good idea to take us ashore in an open tender on a day when it was heaving down with rain? A great way to see places like the Shetlands and the Orkneys and no complaints about the quantity and quality of the food, but cruising is still not for us and certainly never again with Voyages of Discovery!! Read Less
44 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This is a very small ship when compared with many other ships (15000 tonnes), with the advantage of quick embarkations, friendliness on board and different ports of call it can make. The disadvantage on size and age is its ability to ... Read More
This is a very small ship when compared with many other ships (15000 tonnes), with the advantage of quick embarkations, friendliness on board and different ports of call it can make. The disadvantage on size and age is its ability to handle heavier weather and the engine noise at the rear of the ship. The cabins are reasonable in terms of size, however the balconies are very small. There is plenty of good common areas to sit in on wet days. The ship is currently undergoing improvement to some cabins and it is currently hit and miss on which cabins are better for a refit. It should be said, that even allowing for this the standard overall is not too bad. Common areas , lounges,bars etc are really quite good. The show lounge has support poles and no slope to it, so it is not easy to view dance shows. Eating areas are very good. The main 2 dining rooms are very comfortable, although not many tables for just 2. The self service area is relatively small, including the outside area and it makes it quite difficult to get in at peak times. the food quality is very good and service excellent. bars too have excellent friendly staff. Nothing is far from anywhere on this ship and lifts are not overly busy. Shopping is not a past time here....very small choice of anything. Would be better without it ! Lasting thoughts...friendliness of ships crew and especially the Captain. Services levels are excellent in restaurants and bars. Our inside cabin, deck 4 rear, was noisy when travelling at full steam. Not hard to see why this ship has a good level of repeat business and is often sold out early. We would travel again on Voyager. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Stayed onboard for back to back cruises. 1st Cruise, Britain's Beautiful Isles Excellent itinerary, visited several Scottish Islands which would be a pain to get to by car ferry. For next year this cruise is already nearly ... Read More
Stayed onboard for back to back cruises. 1st Cruise, Britain's Beautiful Isles Excellent itinerary, visited several Scottish Islands which would be a pain to get to by car ferry. For next year this cruise is already nearly booked up. 2nd Cruise, Viking Lands & Icelandic Explorer This went very well, and for a change it did not rain in Bergen Pre Cruise Some of the pre cruise paperwork we received appeared somewhat contradictory and unclear, but things muddled through alright, but there is room for a lot of improvement in this area. The Check In The car parking and luggage porterage went very smoothly, however the actual check in was not quite as good, because we had booked a suite we were entitled to priority check in, however when we arrived there was no priority check in. So we joined the general queue, after some time had passed a member of staff actually thought about putting up the priority queue signs. So we backed tracked and joined that queue. Health forms were not given out until people were queuing up, these could have been given out whilst people were waiting for check in to start, improvement in their procedures is needed. Rocking and Rolling Considering the calm sea conditions the ship rocks and rolls a lot and is certainly not the most stable ship we have sailed on, would not want to cross the Atlantic or the Pacific on this ship. Entertainment Because it is a small ship the entertainment team is quite small, however whatever they lacked in numbers they made by their talent and continuous hard work. They multitask, appearing in the shows, the bars and then organising onboard daytime games for the passengers, plus looking after the single travellers, Lauren always managed to keep smiling. Reception Friendly and helpful staff. The Explorer Restaurant My wife and I felt very sorry for the waiters, the tables are crammed together, they have to squeeze though very narrow gaps. The restaurants are far too crowded; the average river cruiser appears to have more dinning space per passenger than this ship. The oblong tables for six are very tight for elbow room; the tables for four are a little better, but not much, this overcrowding lets the ship down badly, the second cruise was not as bad as the first as I believe it was not full. There appears to be a shortage of crockery and glasses, waiters have to keep taking items from other tables as everything appears to be in short supply. Most nights our table was always short of something, the waiters have to find missing items of glassware, cutlery, crockery, this was better during the second cruise. The menu in the Explorer is exactly the same as the Discovery, sometimes the food is hot, sometimes it is a little on the cold side. Overall the food is not bad, the portions are a little smaller than other ships, and the selection somewhat limited, but it must be remembered that this is low price cruising so it should be expected that the food budget per head is lower, that said on average it was on par or better than that found on P & O in recent years. The drinks and wine prices are very very low, apart free drinks they are the cheapest drinks prices we have ever encountered on any ship or cruise line, a gin and bitter lemon is £2.95. The tablecloths were not changed between dinners; often they had stains on them, when resetting a table the waiters would brush the crumbs off and spray the tablecloths with something, presumably some sort of sanitizer, thought this was rather unhygienic, considering the number of passengers who had been ill. Any restaurant shortcomings were more than made up for by the excellent, hardworking, on the ball managers and waiters, really friendly and likeable, a brilliant team. Room Service The selection was more than somewhat limited. Sometimes items were missing from orders; toasted sandwiches tend to be cold, not the best. The Shop Considering the size of the ship, we thought the little shop, there is only one, was excellent, better stocked than some of those found on some ships four times the size. The shop is run by the excellent Harding Brothers. Friendly staff and excellent service. Wifi The wifi is very cheap, in fact the cheapest we have ever had apart from when it has been free, but don't expect to use be able to use it in your cabin, there are only few areas around the ship where it works, and then it is slow, but no slower than other ships. Laundry All returned in the stated service time, the pressing/ironing was far far better than the average ship, and was possibly the best we have ever had, very well done the brilliant Laundry team. Shore Excursions Mostly went very well, the guides did vary a little but were mostly alright. Apart from one all the coaches were excellent. One of our excursions which we had picked because it was an AM departure was changed to a PM departure, so we were unable to have a walk around town after the excursion, not very good. Tendering When we booked Britain's Beautiful Isles there were only going to be two tender ports, but by the time we boarded there were four and later that went to five ports, then ended up as four and a half. One of the ship's tenders had engine problems and had to be taken out of service, so at two ports one tender and local cabin cruisers/tour boats were used. We reassured by the ship's crew that the broken down tender could still be used as a lifeboat, this did not over inspire confidence, if a tender is unfit to be used as a tender, it hardly makes a good lifeboat. The engine problem was not fixed until the next cruise, when we docked in Iceland the tender was lifted on to the dock and repaired, see photograph. At one port the passengers had started going ashore by tender, halfway through the process there was a change of plan and it was decided to dock, this caused some excursions to start one and a half hours late. It appears that local tenders had to be used in the Scilly Isles, these were very old wooden open launches, very unsuitable when it's raining, and the local crews seamanship might be a little questionable. The ship's own tender crews were very good, and had far better than the average seamanship expertise of other tender crews on many ships. The Cabin 7202 The cabin was spacious, but well over due for refurbishment. Some noise is heard from the sundeck above the cabin, but not much. Bedding, so much for the 'Upgraded bed linen' in the suites, the duvet cover was far too small for the duvet, and did not reach the edge of the bed, we asked the cabin steward about this and were informed that they shrink in the laundry. Later in the cruise we had larger duvet covers, but these were still not the appropriate size. Some of the drawers and cupboard doors are so worn and loose that to stop them banging in the night as the ship rolled we had to jam them with folded pieces of paper. In the bathroom one of the mirrors had a dangerous broken edge, the toilet seat had some of the rubber pads missing and a broken hinge, the seat was replaced during our second cruise. On occasion the water in the bathroom can be more than a little brownish in colour, but this only happened twice. Conclusions When the ship is full it feels very overcrowded, it would be a much better experience if Voyager put their prices up by 10% and reduced the number of passengers by 10%. The public areas have been refurbished, but the cabins are well overdue for a revamp. Voyager has numerous shortcomings but these are mainly offset by the excellent friendly crew, low cost of the cruises and very low drinks prices, because of the crew giving the ship an average, if it was not for the crew it would have been a poor rating. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
Before we left the ship we wrote to the management . To date we have not had the courtesy of a response from Voyages of Discovery. We thought we had found our ideal cruise line but were disappointed by the make up of the passengers . The ... Read More
Before we left the ship we wrote to the management . To date we have not had the courtesy of a response from Voyages of Discovery. We thought we had found our ideal cruise line but were disappointed by the make up of the passengers . The management had found it difficult to fill the ship as there were 10 days at sea. We were well aware of this and were quite happy to relax at sea . We found that 70% of our fellow passengers were single travellers in an organised group and were predominately female . Whilst we applaud the reduction of the fares with no single supplement for these passengers it led to an In balance. Most gentlemen found it uncomfortable to be seated with a table full of women and as the cruise progressed groups tried to reserve tables for one another. Even the waiters found it difficult to accommodate passengers.The evening entertainment was also disrupted by passengers saving seats for large groups .This is not company policy but no one was able to prevent it happening . We feel the ship should be advertised as singles only for this type of cruise in the future or the company should limit the singles to around 30% . If you are thinking of booking in the future check how many singles or no supplement places there are !!! Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Having thoroughly enjoyed 3 cruises with Voyages of Discovery on the Discovery ship, we were reluctant to book Voyager as we were apprehensive about the layout of the ship. However, when we saw this cruise had a Galapagos Islands add-on, ... Read More
Having thoroughly enjoyed 3 cruises with Voyages of Discovery on the Discovery ship, we were reluctant to book Voyager as we were apprehensive about the layout of the ship. However, when we saw this cruise had a Galapagos Islands add-on, we decided to give it a go. Thank goodness we did this add-on. Excellent. But the rest of the cruise was a great disappointment. Voyager layout is not as good as that of Discovery. The show lounge is a terrible layout with no ramping, so terrible visibility and difficult access to seats in the middle. Thank goodness they've partitioned off a corridor to stop people waking through during performances/lectures. After we had done the Galapagos add-on, we were expecting to be taken from the airport straight to the ship. However instead we were taken to lunch, then on a sight-seeing tour of Guyaquil, with local guides and no explanantion. It was only when we arrived at the port that we were each given a letter to explain that there had been a Norovirus outbreak and the ship was undergoing a deep-clean. If we had been told this earlier we would have dressed more appropriately for the day and seen it as a bonus tour. The Verandah buffet lunches never looked very appetising and, unfortunately, because of an earlier outbreak of Norovirus, everything had to be served by staff not used to restaurant work. We had to queue to be handed a plate, then ask for cutlery, then ask for every item of food, including sachets of salt and pepper. It was a bit like a scene from Oliver. We weren't even allowed to pick up a ready-poured fruit juice at breakfast. Buffet eating was not an enjoyable experience. We had 2 days of 'help yourself' after which it was back to begging. I can understand taking precautions but this seemed a bit excessive. In the main restaurant the service was extremely slow and the food was not as good as it used to be on Discovery. Disembarkation was a shambles. We were last off the ship and by this time new arrivals were coming in, preventing us from getting down the gangway. The transport to the airport consisted of a number of local minibuses, totally unsupervised and another shambles. In fact, travel arrangements were all horrendous. We left the UK from Heathrow and arrived back at Gatwick. The good points: The lecturers were very good. The Philippini crew were fantastic. The ports of call were interesting, especially the Panama transit. Great for wildlife. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Attracted by the itinerary, a little wary of it being a small ship, but most of the passengers and especially the crew were very friendly. Being small we could get into more interesting places and it was quick to embark/disembark. On ... Read More
Attracted by the itinerary, a little wary of it being a small ship, but most of the passengers and especially the crew were very friendly. Being small we could get into more interesting places and it was quick to embark/disembark. On booking we were told the ship was to be refurbished in the next few months prior to our trip....it wasn't , so 50£ per person was credited to o url on board account. We did not use it as we had a drinks package so got it refunded in the UK.(5* for customer service) The ship is 25 years old and it shows. Pool deck surface is scuffed and care is needed to avoid splinters when not wearing sandals. Several tiles were missing from the pool sides. Cabins to the rear on decks 2/3/4 are very noisey and vibrated, especially when berthing. We were in 4239 and would not go that far back again, ever , on this ship. Norovirus made an unwelcome appearance, with several passengers and their partners confirmed to cabin for a minimum of 48 hours. Main challenge was having to be served by waiters at the buffet, which was really slow. Entertainment staff were worked really hard by the management, but were good and very enthusiastic. Embarkation and dis-emarkation was efficient , as was transfer to the departing airport. Check in at Gatwick was extremely poor...whether that was due to the airport or the fact that the airline being used was a specialist charter, not normally seen at Gatwick is n o t known, but the Voyages of Discovery company needs to try harder in this area. Read Less
Voyager Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family N/A 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0

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