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Well all my worries were for nothing, this was a great cruise. We left from Singapore with stops in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Nga Trang, Da Nang/Huey and ending in Hong Kong. Embarkation was smooth, everyone went straight to the buffet of course, and then our cabins were available from 1.30. My friend and I had each packed a couple of bottles of wine in our luggage. Her luggage arrived promptly, but mine never showed so I guessed it would be at the “naughty room”, which it was. They had a note on it saying 2 bottles (which you are allowed) and didn’t seem to want me to open the bottles to check it was wine so I’m not sure what the point was, or why my friend’s luggage got through. I just had an internal cabin with a “virtual balcony” so you could see what was happening outside. Nice in theory, it worked most of the time but maybe because of salt build up on the camera plus the Perspex covering the screen, it was a very hazy picture and you couldn’t tell if it was sunny or cloudy outside, it was like an old black & white TV. The cabin was small and the shower was tiny but I expected that as I had booked the cheapest and I spend very little time in the cabin so it was fine. The ship in general was showing its age and on occasion we would get a little drip of water from the ceiling in public areas, but as we know it goes into dry dock in September. It was amusing more than anything, and at least the water was coming from above, rather than a leak from below lol. The atrium area and Sapphire dining room are quite spectacular – really beautiful. One of my concerns was the reports of hordes of pushy, rude Asian customers. In fact the majority of passengers were from the US, also English, Spanish, Australians and a few of us New Zealanders. There were certainly a few Asian passengers but I never saw any rudeness or pushiness from them, they were just as polite as any other group. We were pleasantly surprised at the politeness of the photographers, usually they are very insistent on taking your photos which we hate, but these ones were respectful. Also instead of having to look through rows of photos of other people, the photos were able to be accessed from a computer using your room number. Dining – we mostly ate in the Sapphire dining room for the late seating. Our waiters were great and the food was very good. Just once my meal was a bit lukewarm but otherwise was always hot. The curries were great. I used the Windjammer buffet for breakfast because I have little patience in the morning and it is easier to serve myself when I want it. It was certainly busy but not too bad. We had one lunch in the buffet and it was fine but we much preferred the main dining room if it was open. There were two formal nights. Sadly the baked Alaska parade seems to have disappeared completely but the wait staff did line up on the staircases and sing to us. The midnight buffet with all the carved ice etc also seems to have disappeared (now I’m showing my age). Entertainment – The ice show was amazing, and we went to the other shows almost every night. All the shows were great, even the comedian which I didn’t think I would like. The male dancers in particular were fabulous. We didn’t go to the magician as none of us are keen on magicians. I’ve travelled on MSC, Holland America, Princess, Norwegian & P&O Australia and this cruise was as good as any I have been on, and better than some. Bangkok – this was a 2 hour bus trip from the port. Bear in mind we are two middle aged ladies so my review is from our perspective only. We took the Bangkok on your own excursion. Our guide was Aey and he was very witty and informative and we really enjoyed the bus trip because of him. As for Bangkok, sorry but we hated it. We got dropped at a shopping mall and ventured out once, but the heat and traffic drove us back inside and we spent much of the time (6 long hours) in a bar lol. Also note the bars are not allowed to serve alcohol between 2 and 5pm so it was a long, thirsty wait. This probably only applies to within the mall I am guessing. So it was our own fault that we didn’t give Bangkok more of a fair go, but it was just a bit overwhelming for us. We got back to the ship about 10pm so the buffet was closed but the Café Promenade is open 24 hours so we had lovely pizza there for tea. Saigon – Because we were so useless at seeing Bangkok we changed our excursion from Saigon on your own to the Laquerware factory and market tour. I am not a shopper but my friend had been told the Ben Tahn Market is amazing with cheap (fake) handbags. Again our guide was great and we saw a couple of sights. The lacquerware factory was ok but as I say I’m not a shopper…. At last we get to the market and my friend had encouraged the guide to give us 2 whole hours there. We knew that was a mistake within 10 minutes! I have never been so hassled by vendors in my life (and I have been to Egypt). The place was in a huge warehouse with no air conditioning so it was incredibly hot, the food court area stunk of something dead, and the vendors would physically grab you and try to stop you leaving. It was about the worst place I have been in my life. In the end I had to stand by the door for an hour waiting for the bus so I could breathe. My friend hated it too, but had in her mind that she had to get a handbag. She did buy one but discovered when she got back that the one given to her (pre wrapped) was faulty and was not the one she had examined on display. Otherwise, we thought Saigon was much nicer than Bangkok, it just had more character (and a big problem with litter). Nga Trang – At last a lovely beach! We got a taxi for $US10 from the port to the beach/town area as again the heat was incredible. Unfortunately although this is a tourist area, they did not speak much English at all, so the driver seemed determined he was going to take us to the “centre” even though we kept telling him we were happy to stop here! The “centre” turned out to be a shopping mall. Anyway we were still by the beach and enjoyed a paddle. Then we found a bar on the beach with a nice breeze blowing through. It should have been perfect and we ordered drinks and lunch. Well it was a bit like an episode of Fawlty Towers, I won’t go on but the service was the worst ever and nobody seemed to speak any English at all despite it being a tourist town. There was a very long queue in the heat to get back on the tenders but the staff brought us iced water which was nice. Danang/Huey – Here we took the Hoi An on your own excursion. This was the highlight of the trip. It is an ancient town which has been kept as it was and is a UNESCO sight. The bus had to park a long distance away as they are not allowed close between 11 and 1pm. So the guide informed us we had to walk 1km to the town (again the heat and humidity was incredible). Despite the heat I found the walk interesting as we walked down a lane with houses on either side and you could see how the local people really live, rice paddies in their back yard etc. The town was beautiful, there is a river through the middle and there were ancient houses you can visit. Quite fascinating. I could have spent a lot longer there if it weren’t for the heat. It did stink of septic tanks, I guess the ancient sewer system struggles with all the tourists. Anyway Hoi An is a must do I think. Hong Kong – We disembarked in Hong Kong and took our own bags off the ship as we were flying out at 12.30 so needed to get to the airport quickly. The queue for taxis was nearly 1 hour with the sweat dripping off us. We also had the issue of no HK dollars and hoped to find a taxi that would take credit cards. Long story short, no it seems hardly any taxis take cards but fortunately we had a lovely taxi driver who agreed to take US dollars and we gave him a little extra for his trouble. To sum up, the cruise itself was great, no complaints there except at times the music in public areas was too loud. The staff were, without exception, great. The locals in each port were very kind and polite (except those ghastly women at the market and the hopeless staff at the bar in Nga Trang). The heat was oppressive and made everything more difficult. I would happily cruise on this ship again but have decided Asia is not somewhere I would go again (except Singapore which I like), I know many people love it so don’t let that put you off going. I am glad I went to see for myself. I will put a note in the RCL forum in case anyone has any questions I might be able to answer.

Why Was I Worried?

Voyager of the Seas Cruise Review by Daisy4235

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Asia
Well all my worries were for nothing, this was a great cruise. We left from Singapore with stops in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Nga Trang, Da Nang/Huey and ending in Hong Kong. Embarkation was smooth, everyone went straight to the buffet of course, and then our cabins were available from 1.30. My friend and I had each packed a couple of bottles of wine in our luggage. Her luggage arrived promptly, but mine never showed so I guessed it would be at the “naughty room”, which it was. They had a note on it saying 2 bottles (which you are allowed) and didn’t seem to want me to open the bottles to check it was wine so I’m not sure what the point was, or why my friend’s luggage got through.

I just had an internal cabin with a “virtual balcony” so you could see what was happening outside. Nice in theory, it worked most of the time but maybe because of salt build up on the camera plus the Perspex covering the screen, it was a very hazy picture and you couldn’t tell if it was sunny or cloudy outside, it was like an old black & white TV. The cabin was small and the shower was tiny but I expected that as I had booked the cheapest and I spend very little time in the cabin so it was fine. The ship in general was showing its age and on occasion we would get a little drip of water from the ceiling in public areas, but as we know it goes into dry dock in September. It was amusing more than anything, and at least the water was coming from above, rather than a leak from below lol. The atrium area and Sapphire dining room are quite spectacular – really beautiful.

One of my concerns was the reports of hordes of pushy, rude Asian customers. In fact the majority of passengers were from the US, also English, Spanish, Australians and a few of us New Zealanders. There were certainly a few Asian passengers but I never saw any rudeness or pushiness from them, they were just as polite as any other group.

We were pleasantly surprised at the politeness of the photographers, usually they are very insistent on taking your photos which we hate, but these ones were respectful. Also instead of having to look through rows of photos of other people, the photos were able to be accessed from a computer using your room number.

Dining – we mostly ate in the Sapphire dining room for the late seating. Our waiters were great and the food was very good. Just once my meal was a bit lukewarm but otherwise was always hot. The curries were great. I used the Windjammer buffet for breakfast because I have little patience in the morning and it is easier to serve myself when I want it. It was certainly busy but not too bad. We had one lunch in the buffet and it was fine but we much preferred the main dining room if it was open. There were two formal nights. Sadly the baked Alaska parade seems to have disappeared completely but the wait staff did line up on the staircases and sing to us. The midnight buffet with all the carved ice etc also seems to have disappeared (now I’m showing my age).

Entertainment – The ice show was amazing, and we went to the other shows almost every night. All the shows were great, even the comedian which I didn’t think I would like. The male dancers in particular were fabulous. We didn’t go to the magician as none of us are keen on magicians.

I’ve travelled on MSC, Holland America, Princess, Norwegian & P&O Australia and this cruise was as good as any I have been on, and better than some.

Bangkok – this was a 2 hour bus trip from the port. Bear in mind we are two middle aged ladies so my review is from our perspective only. We took the Bangkok on your own excursion. Our guide was Aey and he was very witty and informative and we really enjoyed the bus trip because of him. As for Bangkok, sorry but we hated it. We got dropped at a shopping mall and ventured out once, but the heat and traffic drove us back inside and we spent much of the time (6 long hours) in a bar lol. Also note the bars are not allowed to serve alcohol between 2 and 5pm so it was a long, thirsty wait. This probably only applies to within the mall I am guessing. So it was our own fault that we didn’t give Bangkok more of a fair go, but it was just a bit overwhelming for us. We got back to the ship about 10pm so the buffet was closed but the Café Promenade is open 24 hours so we had lovely pizza there for tea.

Saigon – Because we were so useless at seeing Bangkok we changed our excursion from Saigon on your own to the Laquerware factory and market tour. I am not a shopper but my friend had been told the Ben Tahn Market is amazing with cheap (fake) handbags. Again our guide was great and we saw a couple of sights. The lacquerware factory was ok but as I say I’m not a shopper…. At last we get to the market and my friend had encouraged the guide to give us 2 whole hours there. We knew that was a mistake within 10 minutes! I have never been so hassled by vendors in my life (and I have been to Egypt). The place was in a huge warehouse with no air conditioning so it was incredibly hot, the food court area stunk of something dead, and the vendors would physically grab you and try to stop you leaving. It was about the worst place I have been in my life. In the end I had to stand by the door for an hour waiting for the bus so I could breathe. My friend hated it too, but had in her mind that she had to get a handbag. She did buy one but discovered when she got back that the one given to her (pre wrapped) was faulty and was not the one she had examined on display. Otherwise, we thought Saigon was much nicer than Bangkok, it just had more character (and a big problem with litter).

Nga Trang – At last a lovely beach! We got a taxi for $US10 from the port to the beach/town area as again the heat was incredible. Unfortunately although this is a tourist area, they did not speak much English at all, so the driver seemed determined he was going to take us to the “centre” even though we kept telling him we were happy to stop here! The “centre” turned out to be a shopping mall. Anyway we were still by the beach and enjoyed a paddle. Then we found a bar on the beach with a nice breeze blowing through. It should have been perfect and we ordered drinks and lunch. Well it was a bit like an episode of Fawlty Towers, I won’t go on but the service was the worst ever and nobody seemed to speak any English at all despite it being a tourist town. There was a very long queue in the heat to get back on the tenders but the staff brought us iced water which was nice.

Danang/Huey – Here we took the Hoi An on your own excursion. This was the highlight of the trip. It is an ancient town which has been kept as it was and is a UNESCO sight. The bus had to park a long distance away as they are not allowed close between 11 and 1pm. So the guide informed us we had to walk 1km to the town (again the heat and humidity was incredible). Despite the heat I found the walk interesting as we walked down a lane with houses on either side and you could see how the local people really live, rice paddies in their back yard etc. The town was beautiful, there is a river through the middle and there were ancient houses you can visit. Quite fascinating. I could have spent a lot longer there if it weren’t for the heat. It did stink of septic tanks, I guess the ancient sewer system struggles with all the tourists. Anyway Hoi An is a must do I think.

Hong Kong – We disembarked in Hong Kong and took our own bags off the ship as we were flying out at 12.30 so needed to get to the airport quickly. The queue for taxis was nearly 1 hour with the sweat dripping off us. We also had the issue of no HK dollars and hoped to find a taxi that would take credit cards. Long story short, no it seems hardly any taxis take cards but fortunately we had a lovely taxi driver who agreed to take US dollars and we gave him a little extra for his trouble.

To sum up, the cruise itself was great, no complaints there except at times the music in public areas was too loud. The staff were, without exception, great. The locals in each port were very kind and polite (except those ghastly women at the market and the hopeless staff at the bar in Nga Trang). The heat was oppressive and made everything more difficult. I would happily cruise on this ship again but have decided Asia is not somewhere I would go again (except Singapore which I like), I know many people love it so don’t let that put you off going. I am glad I went to see for myself. I will put a note in the RCL forum in case anyone has any questions I might be able to answer.
Daisy4235’s Full Rating Summary
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