Simply put- this was a fantastic cruise! This in spite of marauding storms... two hurricanes wreaking havoc in the Atlantic (Marie and Nate), and a few minor problems (but certainly not show stoppers!) on the ship (a faulty cabin lock battery that kept us out of our cabin for about 15 minutes and a starboard toilet flushing issue that took a few hours to resolve. Someone probably flushed one of their brats down the tubes and stopped up the works). This was the first time that all of our cruising buddies were able to FINALLY cruise together! Although the seas were rough on two days, the skies were generally sunny and the booze and laughter were constant. All of this added up to a cruise that was a TOTAL pleasure for us all. Thank you Pam & Chris, Steve & Kim, and Craig & Debbie for making this cruise opportunity come alive! (Our cabin was 8318. The others in the group had cabins 8320, 8620, and 8121. We acted like imbeciles playing with the ship's fantastic phone messaging system. Teenagers would have been embarrassed by our antics.)
The cruise began on Sunday (a gorgeous sunny day!) with early arrivals at Cape Liberty and immediate embarkation onto Voyager at 12:30pm and lunch in the Windjammer. We were all in our cabins by 1pm, and we already got our reservation in for Portofino's for 8 on Monday night, to boot! The best part of any departure from Bayonne is the fantastic view passing under the Verrazano Bridge shortly after getting under way. Be sure to be on the top deck. We spent an incredible night dancing in the ship's great nightclub!
On our first day at Sea, the seas were very choppy and rough... even the awesome Voyager was tossed about. For me, it's a fun ride, but many aboard were obviously sick since most areas were deserted. One of our group was as well, but a quick trip to the ship's doc patched up her problems within an hour! We all had fun around the ship, and at night we all had a sumptuous meal at Portofino's... still one of the finest dining experiences at sea! We all went and saw the hilarious comedian (Rick Starr?) at midnight... great show! Not sure, but I think this is the night I actually played cards in the Card Room of any cruise! Geez, I was THAT drunk.
Tuesday began mostly cloudy, and we'd been warned by the Captain that hurricane Nate was looking ominous for Bermuda- so we were ordered to all get back to the ship by 5:30pm when he would announce the decision as to whether we'd leave that night, or stay as planned through Wednesday. A few weeks earlier, Voyager was forced to divert the cruise to Canada due to another storm threat. So I was happy just to be getting one day in Bermuda... especially since we'd never been. We all got off the ship and down to Horseshoe beach by 12:30-1:00pm and we had an incredible time! Not only was the surf really kicking but the Sun was out and the threat of any storm looked remote.
We returned to the ship around 4pm, and indeed, the skies were starting to look bad. After grabbing some snacks (late dinner seating, don't you know...) we headed forward to the empty bow and watched as things got uglier. Sure enough, the decision was (wisely) made to leave Bermuda after 6pm (and of course, some passengers were still late- ugh!).
Dinner was LOBSTER NIGHT and the lobster was outstanding!!! That night, the seas and winds were rough again, but we still made the best of it, heading to the Viking Crown for some latin music (I was the one looking confused on the dance floor!). We even headed for the hot tubs at the main pool (although the pools were emptied during the roughest winds and rocking so some blockhead wouldn't get knocked out, there was always a hot tub ready somewhere) in the wee hours of the morning!
Wednesday, now an additional day at sea, proved the Captain's wisdom in withdrawing from Bermuda when he did as the seas north of the island were rough and tumble most of the day. Still, we took in many of Voyager's fun places (the casino deposits among them) and had a ball. Something's always going on on a cruise. That night we retired to Cleopatra's Needle for a rockin' thru the ages party and danced.
Thursday, our other scheduled day at sea, was perfect from beginning to end. The Atlantic was finally behaving. She was much more of a docile lake then an ocean. Diane and I started the day with massages... always worth it on a cruise even though you pay a higher price then on land. Whales were everywhere to be seen and many passengers (not me though) saw sea turtles! We all camped out on the deck chairs and caught some rays. Later in the day we saw the ice show. It started out great, but then became a ho-hum "skate off" contest between the professional skaters. Frankly, it ground to a halt with this, imho, but the show was free so what do you want? On this last night, Diane and Chris and Pam and I roamed the ship (the other two couples crashed early... wimps!). We gambled (I won back all the money I'd lost during the week's Casino outings plus an additional $15!!!) and we played shuffle board (at 2am, no less). None of us wanted this cruise to end...
Friday- disembarkation couldn't have been smoother... off the ship, picked up the luggage and on our way back home by 9:45am. We arrived back home around 11:15am! Now that's cruising!!! Oh you lucky souls who live close to cruise ports in Florida... so many to choose from.
If you want more particulars about Voyager, read my review about the Canada cruise. She's a bit frayed here and there, but she's still a great ship with a great legacy. I still think her main dining room rivals Navigator's and perhaps exceeds it in beauty (and Explorer's just doesn't compare)... and her Portofino's is hands down, the best in food and restaurant location and looks. Johnny Rockets, not one of my favorite venues, was great fun on this ship. Although the burgers at JRs are only OK at best, the hammy waiters singing and dancing had us laughing our heads off. Great fun. The Aquarium bar actually had fish in the tanks! I think this is a first! (every cruise I've been on, the aquarium-type bar aquariums are empty)
All photography on this page done by Paul and Diane McCullough
To see more photos from this terrific cruise, press HERE!
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