This was a first cruise for my husband and myself and overall it was very nice. A few things to keep in mind, however that detract from the otherwise enjoyable experience. I considered giving only 3 stars: There is someone trying to sell you something at every turn on board the ship. Not just in the stores on the promenade (which I would expect), but coming out of dinner and the midnight buffet, you had to pass through a station trying to sell Royal Caribbean cookbooks, and then two feet later you had to dodge around a guy hawking Royal Caribbean wine. I felt like I was on the Boardwalk in New York or at a state fair. It was very annoying. We were really looking forward to getting a massage, facial, etc., at the spa, but after my first "ionictherapy" massage, I wouldn't go back. The person was as annoying a salesperson as any telemarketer. She didn't stop closing the sale for the "aftercare" products from the time I walked in until I walked out an hour later. Everyone at our table had the same experience, no matter which "relaxing" activity they signed up for. My husband had the deep massage, and it was the same thing. A young newlywed felt so pressured into buying skin care products, that her husband tried to return them and spa management refused to take them back. Drinks are very expensive, so it seems like a good idea to pre-buy one of the drink cards which discounts the drinks...sort of. During Happpy Hours, the drinks are discounted below what the price would be if using your card, so if this is the time of day when you would most like to have a cocktail, don't bother buying the drink card.Except for Labadee, which is the RCI private island, don't sign up for excursions on board the ship. They are considerably less expensive when you sign up on the dock on your own. The Captain cancelled all morning excursions one day due to "uncertain conditions"....the seas were barely moving, he said the tenders to shore may not be running. An hour later, tenders to shore were running, and all the other four cruise lines in port, including another RCI ship were sending their guests on the excursions. It was clear to everyone we talked to on board the Voyager that we just got into port too late and the excursions set up by RCI were overbooked. They did us a favor. We signed up to swim with the stingrays with a private group, and it cost half as much as it would have otherwise.On the plus side,the food was very good, considering the number of people that need to be fed. I would definitely recommend paying the bit extra for a balcony. It really added to the overall experience. It was nice that there were several pools and hot tubs, so we could relax and read away from the pool activities. The Mardi Gras parade was billed as spectacular, but we thought it was nice, but ordinary. Not worth staying up for or foregoing another activity. The staff was very nice...never deviated from the script.We would cruise again, but on a smaller ship.Embarkation and disembarkation was surprisingly efficient, given the numbers. We docked early in the morning, out of our rooms by eight and relaxed on board until 11:00 when it was our turn. If you have kids, there is plenty to keep them happy and busy. If you sign up for the bike ride in Ocho Rios, make sure you can really ride a bike and are in shape. It's 8.5 miles really down hill, with a couple of steep up hill climbs...all on a pothill filled country road. It was great fun to be in the Jamaican countryside, but physically challenging. G. Campbell, Manchester
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