Sorry for keeping you waiting forever for this post! It has been more than a year since my travel with Royal Caribbean and I hope I can still recall as much as possible to give you some good insights for this trip!
This draft has started on 16 June 2017.
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas Full Review with Tips! Part 1/5: Getting Ready
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas Full Review with Tips! Part 2/5: Day 1
It’s Tuesday! Every morning, the day indicator in the lifts will change.
6:30 am Fitness Center
We had a good night sleep as the sea was very calm along the Malacca Straits. We started Day 2 quite early at around 6:30 am and we went to the gym/fitness centre on Deck 11. There were already quite a few people working out in the gym. Some of them, I guess, were performers or crews. The gym was well-equipped with 6 bikes, a few treadmills and striders, weight machines, and other workout machines. There was a space for yoga and general workout too. If you are keen to do some serious workout, there were free and paid vitality activities at the Fitness Center.
Also, do check out the indoor pool and jacuzzi beside the fitness centre which opens 24 hours unless under maintenance. Usually, there aren’t many people there in the morning. So if you want a good dip in the warm jacuzzi without sharing with others, do consider the early morning. The changing rooms and toilets are just beside it. Outdoor pools and jacuzzis only open at 9am.
(Sorry, I just realized I did not take any good photos of the gym and the cafe…)
7:00 am Breakfast at Windjammer Cafe
There are 4 locations for breakfast starting at different timing and serving different food.
- 6:00 am to 10:00 am – Light Breakfast at Cafe Promenade (Deck 5) -> serving cookies, cakes, muffins, pizzas with coffee and tea.
- 7:00 am to 10:30 am – Windjammer Cafe (Deck 11) -> serving buffet-style breakfast just like any hotel with varieties of food choices. There are two halls which sometimes may serve slightly different food.
- 8:00 am to 9:30 am – A la carte Breakfast at Sapphire Dining Room (Deck 4), Buffet Breakfast, Sapphire Dining Room (Deck 3) -> The food options are more Asian oriented. You will be ushered to your seating areas due to the crowd size and a limited number of seats. Thus, you may be sharing a big table with some other families.
Since we were earlier, we went to Windjammer Cafe for breakfast. Please do not use their napkins to clean your mouth. It has a greasy smell and when we asked the staff, she simply replied that it is normal. :s Also, the cutleries were not all very clean. Do look out and choose those without stains. I encountered that on Day 3 but here’s a warning first.
Our light breakfast
8:00 am Explore the Ship
Outside the Windjammer cafe, you will find a miniature version of the Voyager of the Seas.
We started exploring the ship from the highest deck which the elevator could reach, which is deck 14, and that’s where the Viking Crown Lounge, Izumi restaurant, and Diamond Club are. If you want some quiet moments in the morning to enjoy sea view without having to deal with the sea breeze, the lounge is an ideal location for you.
Then we walked up the staircases to the Skylight Chapel at Deck 15 as there is no elevator access. I’m not sure if there are services held here normally, but I’m sure this is a good venue for an on-cruise wedding. 🙂
Inside the Skylight Chapel.
We then walked down the staircases to Deck 13 where most of the sports facilities are. Upon walking out the door, you will see a sport court for basketball and volleyball. It will be set up for both sports at different timing. At the side of the court is the rock climbing wall. One of the highlights for Voyager of the Seas is the Flowrider, located at the end of ship. If you like a more casual or children/senior citizens-friendly sports, you may try the Voyager Dunes Mini Golf which opened 24 hours. Do check the Cruise Compass for the schedule for different sport options, including rock climbing (with instructors), table tennis, Flowrider, and mini golf competition.
On deck 12, you will find the Vitality at Sea Spa, Sky Bar, Running Track, Optix Teen Disco, Video Arcade (with various games for kids and adults too), Adventure Ocean (for kids), outdoor youth area, and Johnny Rockets (50’s-style diner serving mouthwatering hamburger, sodas, floats and malts. $6.95 fee per person). It was a nice timing to explore in the morning as there was literally no one around. We played basketball, mini golf, and the arcade and took some nice shots.
Deck 11 is where the Fitness Center, Solarium (swimming pools and whirlpools), Pool bar, outdoor screen, Chops Grille ($85 dining fee per person and requires reservation) and Windjammer cafe are.
9:00 am Dip in The Jacuzzi
Seeing how empty the pools are, we quickly went back to our room to get changed and had a quick dip in the indoor warm jacuzzis. (Sorry, no decent photo available) After that, we showered in the changing room and went to check out the Flowrider which had opened up the first session at 9am for stand up surfing. I wasn’t mentally prepared to try it. You may check the counter for other timing and surfing mode. Do note that you need to bring your Seapass Card to register before you can join the queue. The registration is to get you sign an indemnity form and they will issue you a wristband. There is minimum height requirement for the surfing. Parents must be present to sign a waiver for children under the age of 18 and must stay to supervise children under the age of 13 years.
Also, there are some nice benches to enjoy the seabreeze and morning sun.
Checking out flowrider
Flowrider opening hours
11:00 am Captain’s Welcome Abroad Reception with Music Venture
We went back to our room for some rest before going to Royal Promenade for snack time on Deck 5. It was also the time for the Captain and the main crews to make appearance to welcome everyone aboard. There were free champagnes along the hallway with music. We were sitting down in Cafe Promenade when the live band started and the crowd started to dance and sing along. It’s nice to see that families and friends from all nationalities mingled together to celebrate in joy! We saw some Korean ajummas dancing happily with some young Indian men. 😉
Captain’s Welcome Aboard Reception
Dance to the music
Live band performance
12:00 noon Ice Skating Try Out at Studio B Deck 3
We missed the earlier session of the ice skating as it was only a 30-mins duration but there were quite a few sessions throughout the day. To enter the ice skating rink, you need to wear long pants and socks and bring along your sea pass card for registration. After registration, you will be provided with safety gears – helmet and gloves, and ice skating shoes! There was no trainer in the rink to guide you so becareful if this is your first trial.
Do note that the entrance to the ice rink is at the same side as Sapphire Dining Room and it is not connected to the La Scala Theatre. As our room was on the La Scala Theatre side, we had to go up to Deck 4 or 5 to cross to the other end.
Safety gears are provided
12:30 pm Lunch at Sapphire Dining Room, Deck 3
After the ice-skating, we headed straight to Sapphire Dining Room right in front for lunch but the queue was very long! We had to wait outside to be seated and the dining time is only until 1:15pm. Luckily we managed to get in on time. The lunch menu was as good as the dinner.
Salad for lunch
After lunch, we strolled around the outdoor deck and had a good view of the shoreline of Malaysia.
Reaching Penang soon!
2:00 pm Fun Line Dance Class
The line dance class has just started but the crowd was already hyped up around the Royal Promenade area. The instructor was a fun guy and was able to create a very entertaining atmosphere. We joined in the crowd and learned a few simple moves too.
Line dance instructor and the crowd below
3:00 pm Arrive at Swenttenham Pier Cruise Terminal, Penang
After that, we went back to our room to pack our bag and getting ready to go for an excursion in Penang. Do check the weather forecast on the Cruise Compass if you do not have access to the internet. Also, download an offline copy of the map around the cruise terminal area.
Here’s our packing list:
- Cap / Umbrella – The weather in the evening can be quite hot. If it rains, it’s not easy to find a convenient store around to get an umbrella. I don’t remember seeing umbrella been sold on the cruise neither.
- Offline Google map pre-downloaded in your phone
- Water – May not be easy to find a convenient store which sell mineral water. No clean water point to refill water.
- Money (Ringgit Malaysia) – There is a foreign exchange on Deck 5 but the rate on the land may be better.
- Camera (or just your phone)
- Seapass Card – A security checkpoint will be set up at the gangway for your safety and security. Note that this card acts as your passport when you leave the ship! So don’t lose it.
- Comfortable walking shoes
The port of call is the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal. Expected arrival time was 3pm and expected ship’s clearance was at 3:30pm. The latest time to get onboard was at 9:30pm. Do take note of the gangway to get off the ship on the cruise compass and announcement made over the public address system.
Welcome to Penang
Once the ship clearance was done, we were all ready to get off the ship and started to explore Penang! At the gangway, we were requested to present our seapass card and bag for inspection to the Quarantine Inspectors.
4:00 pm Exploring Penang
The weather was sunny that day and we just wanted to walk around to find some street arts as the heritage trail is just around the port. There are free CAT bus which you can hop on and off at different stations or just stay on the bus for a 3 hours tour.
Penang Hop On Free CAT Bus Route
I think that’s the bus
There are some tricycles stationed outside the terminal too. Further down the street, you may find bicycles available for rental at a reasonable price. Otherwise, walking can be a good option too.
Tricycles for sightseeing tour around the Heritage trail
Rent a bike to ride around the town
We found a few good online guides on where to find the street arts such as these:
We didn’t manage to locate all the street arts but here are some that we found:
Other than that, there are also heritage architectures which are instagrammable.
Well preserved shop houses
Along the beach street, you will find a giant chendol! This is the Wonderfood Museum which you can find the famous local food in giant shape.
We also went to look for a cafe famous for its 3D coffee art along the Beach Street. It is quite near to the museum. The shop interior was delicately designed with antique furniture, including the washroom. The price was at about RM17 per drink and RM23 per set (with dessert). They had different designs for each drink ordered. We got a floating bear and a Hello Kitty!
We actually stopped by this cafe before going on to find more street arts. It was a good place for a toilet break too.
6:00 pm Back to the Ship & Dinner
We went back to the ship at about 6pm. We saw some people bought a dozen of mineral water and snacks, probably from Komtar? We had to go through the security screening and showing our seapass card.
We went back to our room to find a cute elephant on our bed.
We had a quick shower and get changed to our formal attire before heading down for dinner at Sapphire Dining Room. The fine dining was great tonight too!
Since we were all dressed up, we also took some nice photos on Deck 3 and 4, along the art gallery and the grand staircases outside the La Scala theatre.
7:30 pm Outside Movie
After that, we went to Deck 11 to catch “A Dog Purpose”, a movie screened on the outdoor screen at 7:30pm. The movie was 1 hour and 40 mins. So we had some time to take more photos after the movie.
9:30 pm All Aboard – Set sail for Phuket, Thailand
Not sure what happen if anyone doesn’t return to the ship… Hopefully everyone returns on time safely.
9:30 pm Production Showtime: Broadway Rythm and Rhyme
This is a definitely-not-to-miss free show which does not require you to get a ticket before hand. It is free seating so, do go into La Scala Theatre 10-15 mins before the show starts to get the good seats. It is a musical show starring the Royal Caribbean singers & dancers.
During the show, you could feel the ship engine started and we set sail to Phuket. The show lasted for an hour and it was certainly very entertaining. After the show end, we went to grab some snacks at Promenade Cafe before heading back to our room for a good night sleep. Well, maybe not as we were sailing out of the Straits of Malacca. Stay tuned to Day 3 post!