I was invited by Voyages of Discovery to spend a night onboard Voyager in Portsmouth, to see the results of her recent upgrade, before she headed off to the Caribbean on her first cruise.
Ship Facts & Figures - At just 15,271 gross tons Voyager is ideal for Discovery Cruising, as she can access ports which the larger ships can't get near. Voyager originally entered service in December 1990 as the Crown Monarch, and has had various names since then - Cunard Crown Monarch, Nautican, Neptune, Rembrandt II, Jules Verne and, most recently, Alexander Von Humboldt II. Newly christened as Voyager by her Godmother Miranda Krestovnikoff on 4th December 2012, she has now embarked on the next stage in her career.
Dining - There are three restaurants onboard, with the main Discovery Restaurant offering open seating dining. The Veranda Restaurant offers dining from an extensive hot and cold buffet, with the choice of dining inside or Al Fresco, and is again open seating. The more intimate Explorer Club is open to all at least once a cruise. There is no charge for dining there, but you do need to reserve your table.
Onboard Facilities - Around the ship you will find plenty of places to relax, including the Darwin Lounge, Scott's Lounge and the Lookout Lounge. Other facilities include a library, a shop, The Bridge Club, the Lido Pool and Bar, an Internet room, gym, spa, swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
Accommodation - There are 270 cabins, including 35 suites, of which 30 have a balcony. Cabins can be booked for single occupancy at a very reasonable supplement depending on the cabin grades and departure date. All cabins have private facilities, air conditioning, hair dryer, safe and television. The suites have a bath and shower (with some even having a spa bath) and a fridge, and they also benefit from bathrobes, slippers, and a basket of fruit and bottle of champagne.
Entertainment - While there are no casinos or big stage shows, there is the opportunity to listen to some singers or classical musicians, and watch a small scale dance show. One of the main things enjoyed by Voyages of Discovery passengers has always been the quality of the expert guest speakers, and this will be the same onboard Voyager.
What is Included? - As well as the cruise itself, the price you pay also includes flights and transfers if it is a fly cruise. Car parking at the port for round trip UK cruises, and onboard gratuities for your cabin and restaurant stewards, are also included on standard fares. If booking on a saver fare, car parking is not included.
Summary - If you are looking for small ship Discovery cruising, with the opportunity to listen to expert speakers and learn about a number of different subjects, then Voyager has got to be one of the options you consider. The standard of cuisine and service onboard is excellent, and this is due in no small way to the fact that the officers and crew who has been on Discovery for a number of years have been transferred to the Voyager. This means that if you have cruised on Discovery in the past, and got to know the crew well, you will certainly feel at home on Voyager.
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