This was a small ship with great staff and activities. Steve, the cruise director, was easy to understand and added energy to the events. There were two comedians and a juggler in addition to the singers and dancers who put on ... Read More
This was a small ship with great staff and activities. Steve, the cruise director, was easy to understand and added energy to the events. There were two comedians and a juggler in addition to the singers and dancers who put on productions. There were several game shows, a guest talent show and the zombie Thriller dancers. We are dinner at the main dining room each night. There was always a good selection to choose from. Lobster was served on the second formal night. The room steward was accommodating and got us anything we asked for. There was a main pool that usually had some type of music playing and many contests were held here on sea days. For some peace and quiet, we usually visited the adults only Solarium. The roof is retractable in this area so it can be enjoyable rain or shine. Check in was a breeze. Many guests began to line up for self debarkation prior to any announcement stating the ship was cleared. They let the people in line off of the ship prior to making an overhead announcement that the ship was cleared. We had an enjoyable vacation and Royal Carribean made sure to see to that (however check the charges on your account, we had to get some corrected). Read Less
This was our first time on Royal. We've done Disney and Carnival multiple times. We wanted to try a different crowd and a smaller ship.
!. New Orleans is within driving distance, so we again departed from ... Read More
This was our first time on Royal. We've done Disney and Carnival multiple times. We wanted to try a different crowd and a smaller ship.
!. New Orleans is within driving distance, so we again departed from this port. We were off to a rocky start, as our pre-planning missed the fact it was Mardi Gras!!! ooops. Luckily we drove down the night before, intending to hit the Quarter for an evening, but unexpectedly endured the traffic and blocked streets due to parade. We toured, but only in circles until the streets opened. :( I'm just happy we went the night before!!
2. Royal parking and luggage drop off is different from the others we've done. Parking is uncovered. And we missed luggage drop of as their process is different--- (so again, our pre-planning missed something). This was not a pleasant surprise, but it quickly recovered. Because of #3
3. Embarkation was seamless. No lines, no waiting, no nonsense, no problem! Immediately to our room--- and luggage within an hour!!! WOW! The bars were open--- (something we indulge when we 'check out' of real life) and taking a deep breath, our adventure began!
4. Our room. A scary decision, but one of our nervously anticipated new choices for a new cruise line. Ultra Spacious Oceanview ---- for two :) . I put pics on cruisedeckplans.com with this feedback:
This cabin was a pleasant surprise. We have always had a balcony room, but this room was a different kind of choice-- because of the 2nd bedroom. The cabin sleeps 6, but it was just hubby and myself. It was our anniversary--- and he romantically ordered the anniversary decor. It was soooo charming for the week.
The second bedroom... we used for a closet!!! (7 days worth of clothes/shoes! And we always dress for every dinner and/or event.) For us, having an out-of-site area for luggage/belongings made the room so cozy and tidy.
The bathroom was good. Plenty of room for us, along with the over the door (shoe) organizer for our brushes/jewelry/personals.
We also took magnetic hooks for lanyards/sunglasses. Every surface seemed magnetic! Plenty of power outlets for us--- on the vanity as well as one in the bathroom. We took plug converters just in case. WARNING: DO NOT TAKE A POWER STRIP! Disney and Carnival didn't seem to mind our power strips, but Royal does not play! We were called to the "principal's office", and were all but body searched and fingerprinted because of this!!! They kept it during the voyage, and we didn't even bother to pick it up afterwards because it was an unpleasant memory. (Shame on us for testing the the rules).
Temperature was great, with two thermostats.
TV with limited stations (take your players, as they DO have apps and ports to access your personal movies, etc. on the TV)
Despite some of the blogs I've read, there IS indeed a tiny refrigerator.
Our steward was always available for our needs. But we are we are very low maintenance--- sleeping late, and staying out till wee hours. We requested ice one time, and it was always there for us.
The cabin was perfect for us. There are very few of this floor plan so grab it quick!
5. Overall ship was quaint and well maintained. The crowd was different, as we expected, and actually HOPED. We're reaching the 50yo mark, so it was nice to be a part of the younger 1/3. Not the party/rowdy group of Carnival. Not the helicopter parents of Disney (There were a FEW children/families). It was quiet and peaceful. I must say: THERE IS PLENTY OF ROOM people-wise. We NEVER had trouble finding space at tables/pool/bars/deck... I loved this! Our "personal space" is important to us, and this was GREAT! No lines at the buffets, no worrying about tables, no worries of rudeness/getting bumped going through doors/hallways/elevators. A huge difference from Carnival and Disney.
6. Food--- We're not picky. Buffet was ample/variety. Menus in dining room were nice. All typical of a cruise. One thing we did not like, there is no 24 hour snack availability. We could have done room service after hours, but there is a delivery fee. Snacks available until 2am at one area, which we learned to grab something there before 2am.
7. Service --- No complaints at all, (except the Customer Relations and Security listed above as I embarrassingly cringe). Dining staff was superb (we had a table for two). Bar staff was superb and SPEEDY! There is no dilly-dally like the other lines. Alcohol flows freely. Steward was happily available.
8. We did not do excursions this time--- we walked the ports at our leisure, and got our token souvenirs as we do at every stop (ALWAYS a Harley-Davidson Pin for hubby's little "Harley Davidson Christmas Tree"). The ports were clean with a gentle crowd.
9. We did not attend the shows this time. (Boy, we sound boring. But we were very much enjoying our personal time together- wink). There were many to choose from, with a variety of events scheduled for participation. They do have the daily "Compass" similar to the "Navigator" and "FunTimes". The phone app is sufficient.
10. Disembarkation --- Very organized and seamless. Dismissal groups were smaller and well planned. We rolled right off the ship. Customs was a simple walk through (NOTHING like the cattle herding on the others). I was wow'd. Luggage was waiting. Porters were a bit hard to flag down--- but we got the RIGHT one -- he cleared the lobby and took ALL of our luggage ALL THE WAY to our vehicle in the distant parking lot. WOW AGAIN.
Overall--- YESSSS --- we will do Royal Caribbean again. Next to test out a bigger/newer ship--- but selectively. Our social/personal space is very important, and this one will be hard to match. So a 5000 passenger ship is now very intimidating-- but I want to see the "Central Park" set up on one of the new ships
I hope this wordy review helps. Read Less
We wanted to leave out of New Orleans since we had never done that before. Also, since we live in East Texas, we wanted to drive. I thought it would be a nice trip to drive to the port and take our time getting there. I was not ... Read More
We wanted to leave out of New Orleans since we had never done that before. Also, since we live in East Texas, we wanted to drive. I thought it would be a nice trip to drive to the port and take our time getting there. I was not disappointed. The drive was nice and pleasant.
I heard that it would take the ship about 8 hours to get our of the Mississippi so I wanted the opportunity to say that I had done it. I found that to be interesting.
I usually sail from Galveston and I wanted the opportunity to visit new ports for a change. I love Key West so I really wanted to go. I had sailed on Vision once before and we enjoyed the experience so I wanted to try it again. I knew that the opportunity to sail Royal out of New Orleans was limited so I did not want to pass up the opportunity.
The only shore excursion that was booked was a bungalow at Coco Cay. We shared this with my niece and her husband. It was well worth it. We had our lunch in there since we were located far enough that they have golf cart type transportation that they use to take you there. We had Bungalow 19. It had a nice view of the ocean and the restrooms were right behind us. The floating bar was awesome. Drink packages work on Coco Cay. You will need cash if you wish to purchase souvenirs from the vendors. The tide went out and we save conch shells everywhere!
The food was very good. We had no complaints at all. The only slight issue we had was in Chops. The crab cake was served cold and the bacon was not cooked crisp. The shareable portions were not enough for four people. The steak was the best ever!
Lots of people dressed up for 70s Night so that made it really fun! We found that we participated in activities that we normally do not participate in. The egg drop was really fun and we enjoyed participating. There were very few children on this cruise. The Parade of Flags is a definite don’t miss!
Getting on and off the ship was easy. The only issue was that the streets around the Julia Street Port are closed due to construction but people directing traffic were extremely helpful. We dropped our luggage off before we parked our car. If you go early enough and are waiting to check in you can walk to the Riverwalk from the port and have breakfast at Cafe Du Monde. You can go after you park your car for the cruise and not have to worry about public parking while you are there. Then just walk back over to check in. They sent me an e-mail that said our sea pass would be in our room but they handed it to us when we checked in. Getting off was super fast and easy too. We had #3 and our time was 8:10, but we were called, got our luggage, our car, and on the road before 8:20.
I would definitely go on this cruise again! Read Less
We went on this cruise with a group 10 (9 of us are retired) including 4 brand new retirees. Since we are a group ranging in age from 55 to 80 (most in the 55-65 range) we were looking for an active cruise agenda and some fun ports of ... Read More
We went on this cruise with a group 10 (9 of us are retired) including 4 brand new retirees. Since we are a group ranging in age from 55 to 80 (most in the 55-65 range) we were looking for an active cruise agenda and some fun ports of call. Most of us are fairly novice cruisers (less than 5 cruises) and we wanted to keep to a cruise of less than 7 days.
We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise agenda and the staff of the Vision of the Seas was top notch. The ship is a bit on the smaller side and is dated in some areas, but is a beautiful ship inside and out. The food was excellent and the stops at Coco Cay and Key West were fantastic. Our only negative was Nassau. The city has some nice restaurants and attractions, but the locals are very aggressive around the port in hawking debarking passengers for taxi, tours and other offers ... its a but unsettling. Additionally, the city is not all handicapped friendly ... streets and sidewalks are narrow and uneven without many ramps or access points for wheelchairs.
We hit some rough seas on the return trip to New Orleans and several of us were a bit queazy over the final day and evening. Overall, a great experience made so by the staff of the Vision. Read Less
We chose this ship to sample the smaller ship. We also have never been to New Orleans, so we spent a few pre-cruise days exploring NOLA. We got a pretty good deal and was happy to sacrifice lack of “active” activities. We also decided ... Read More
We chose this ship to sample the smaller ship. We also have never been to New Orleans, so we spent a few pre-cruise days exploring NOLA. We got a pretty good deal and was happy to sacrifice lack of “active” activities. We also decided to make this a 100% casual cruise. We New the ship was old and did not offer as much as a large ship. With that being said, our expectations were low. We had a ocean view room 2582. Boarding process was smooth and was one of the easiest we have experienced. We had the beds split to have better window access. Splitting the bed also makes the room feel larger. The bed mattresses were old and stiff. Everything else was to be expected for a room of this size. Was a little bothered that you could not access account through the TV. We ate at the buffet since this was a casual cruise. Food was hit and miss as far as the quality. Service was also lacking, we had servers pass us with the drinks and dessert sampl. Some of the employees were in great moods while others did not seem happy to be there. We went to a few shows, two comedy, and one magic. Both of the entertainers were great and I would pay to see on land. One of our ports of call was Key West. With a Key West stop, you will need to go through an immigration process. This is required since you are re-entering the US from foreign countries. This was fast and efficient. They had each group sorted by your muster station. Once your muster station was called, you went through a line in the dining room and you met with a border patrol agent. This actually turned out to be a great thing. When we arrived in New Orleans, we did not have to go through customs. We walked off the ship with our bags. We were off the ship and on an airport shuttle in less than 10 minutes. Read Less
This was our 4th cruise with RCCL and by far our favorite! We loved the Vision and her crew. Our waiter was absolutely amazing, making recommendations and making sure everything was to our liking. He had a great personality and gave us ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with RCCL and by far our favorite! We loved the Vision and her crew. Our waiter was absolutely amazing, making recommendations and making sure everything was to our liking. He had a great personality and gave us great, personal service. The food in the windjammer and MDR was excellent! The windjammer staff did a great job of keeping the buffet area stocked and clean. There were always plenty of options for each meal. We did MTD and were able to walk right in for our table at our reserved time. Our stateroom attendant was also great, quickly taking care of our room in the morning and evenings. The ship was lovely and the activities staff constantly had fun things going on. The ship did not seem dated to me, despite previous reviews I had read. Everything looked updated and clean. The entertainment was good but I would have preferred more variety than the 3 comedians. In the past we’ve had magicians, aerial acrobats, etc. I definitely recommend the Vision! Read Less
Overall, this ship was flat out boring. There is no entertainment besides trivia, lame shows, and seminars for the purpose of selling something. The ride through the Mississippi and gulf was extremely bumpy a couple of days during the ... Read More
Overall, this ship was flat out boring. There is no entertainment besides trivia, lame shows, and seminars for the purpose of selling something. The ride through the Mississippi and gulf was extremely bumpy a couple of days during the trip, it is a smaller ship, however. The food was average and super repetitive. I enjoyed Nassau, and Key West, however, Cococay was an absolute joke and scam.
Pros: Specialty dining. Good Service.
Cococay- this place is a flat out scam, it is not the Bahamas, just some little island Royal Caribbean bought. It is a construction warzone. There is nothing open and the shops there are way overpriced, not to mention, they tried to charge $8 for a cocktail inside of a pineapple (deluxe drinking package did nothing to negate the charge). The food was brought from the ship and was bland.
Rough ride- as stated earlier, it was a rough ride for 2 days, it was almost unbearable because of the constant jerking around.
No entertainment- unless you are in your 70s, you will not enjoy any of the lame activities they offer. It is all filler and predicated on selling you more stuff.
Food- way too repetitive and bland. Read Less
We (a mid 30's and early 40's married couple) chose this cruise originally for the ports (Coco Cay, Nassau, Key West) and because it was a good deal. Then the Coco Cay port was changed to Miami so that was the first bummer.
... Read More
We (a mid 30's and early 40's married couple) chose this cruise originally for the ports (Coco Cay, Nassau, Key West) and because it was a good deal. Then the Coco Cay port was changed to Miami so that was the first bummer.
The ship is older, but in my opinion in decent shape. Our room was an inside cabin so that took some time to adjust to, but it was nice being so dark to take naps in during the day. The service as always with Royal Caribbean was top notch. My biggest complaint about the ship is the size. I thought I would like a smaller ship, but honestly I didn't. My husband and I aren't cruisers who enjoy the group activities, and on this ship due to its small size you could not avoid them. So if you aren't someone who wants to learn the Thriller dance, do trivia or be surrounded by people at all times this is not the ship for you. The only group activity we did was the sushi making class and enjoyed that.
As for the food it was very hit or miss. Being a buffet I never expect much from The Windjammer and received what I expected. We attempted to eat at main dining twice and while service was good the food was horrible. On the other hand, specialty dining was great. We had dinner at all three specialty restaurants on board and the food and service were top notch. The highlight of the trip however was the Chef's Table. We ate at it during our previous cruise and enjoyed the dinner, but found the overall mood stuffy. This time the food was just as delicious and the company was even better. We had so much fun that one of the couples spoke with the maitre d and was able to secure us a great deal to go a second night with the same group. The chef even agreed to change a few of the menu items so we weren't eating the exact same dinner. It was just as delicious and more importantly fun the second time!
The ports were overall good. We flew into New Orleans 2 days before and had a blast eating and drinking all over the French Quarter. Like I said I was really bummed about Coco Cay being changed to Miami. Miami ended up being tolerable. We went to Little Havana ate some Cuban food and went back to the ship. In Nassau, we booked a food and walking tour from Tru Bahamian Food Tours. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys food and wants something to do other than water stuff or shopping. In Key West, we just walked around and checked out different restaurants and bars. We also went to the Hemingway House which is totally worth the admission. I loved Key West and would actually like to go back not on a cruise. Read Less
The original cruise had their private island which was changed to Miami. The food was excellent. The dining room staff was excellent but most tables are for ten so it takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to eat. This is a real negative in terms ... Read More
The original cruise had their private island which was changed to Miami. The food was excellent. The dining room staff was excellent but most tables are for ten so it takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to eat. This is a real negative in terms of getting to events. Buffet set up is the worst I have ever seen. Main buffet as you enter. Just horrid. The staff was nice, seating acceptable but room set up was a disaster. Also dining hours at all locations were minimal. Not at all like other ships were you have options all day. Entertainment was below average. Main stage for a seven day cruise sub par. Side entertainment was weak as well. Hours performing was limited. Solarium was very nice. Gym was small but adequate. Main equipment did not have a TV option. Room steward was excellent and Everton was nice and helpful. Bottom line it felt like you were offered the bare minimum Read Less
We are Diamond Plus and have over 25 cruises with RCCL. This was our biggest disappointment.
We love New Orleans and had a great time prior to the cruise. There were 11 people in our party, including a 3 year old. Embarkation and ... Read More
We are Diamond Plus and have over 25 cruises with RCCL. This was our biggest disappointment.
We love New Orleans and had a great time prior to the cruise. There were 11 people in our party, including a 3 year old. Embarkation and debarkation went well. Loved that customs performed on board prior to New Orleans.
We had a JS and the room was fine. Our steward was as OK. Didn't seem thrilled with his job. For some reason, after several days, we had to agree on a location to place dirty glasses and request replacements. Bath tub had mold.
We were very disappointed with the change of itinerary with substituting Miami for Coco Cay. We enjoyed the train ride with butterfly conservatory excursion in Key West. At $29, it was a good deal. Been to Nassau too many times to count, but it was a beautiful day to walk around. We Ubered to South Beach in Miami.
The cruise director and activity staff were excellent. Best "Meet and Mingle" I've attended. Lots of activities in the centrum. We had fun participating in the egg drop contest. We also enjoyed the passenger "Thriller" performance. Although, I wish these things were advertised, so that we could be prepared.The production shows were good. Guest entertainers were also good. (Not great, but enjoyable.)
The 3 year old enjoyed the Adventure Club.
The Diamond Lounge is very small, but they loaded 3 drinks on our seapass card, and we could go to other bars. (Missed meeting new people.)
Food and service at the Chef's Table was excellent.
Food and service in the MDR was terrible. Because we were a large party, we agreed to sit at 2 tables near each other. The service was the slowest ever experienced. Out of the 6 nights we ate at the MDR, I was only asked once if I wanted a drink (iced tea) and only once (not the same evening) was I asked if I'd like a refill. We brought wine onboard and was initially told that the corkage fee was $26. (About fainted). When challenged, they said is was now $15. Several of us ordered prime rib one evening. It was so tough, it truly could not be cut with any knife. When my husband spoke to the maitre de, he offered to bring him a steak. (Not anyone else at the table.) The steak was ice cold. One evening, some of our party at the table next to us was asked to leave, because they needed the table. They actually brought people over who hovered next to the table, tapping their feet. They knew we were together - and they had to know that the only reason we were not finished, is that they were slow. I enjoy the tutti salad for lunch in the MDR. I asked if they had ranch dressing, and was curtly told that they can't have the same dressings every day. (even though they had about 6 choices that day.) So, I went the next sea day to check it out - and they had all the same dressings as before, but not ranch. I miss that they don't spoon sauce over shrimp cocktails or over desserts. (It's do it yourself). I believe that some brilliant person at RCCL thought that this would save a few minutes. This times a thousand passengers means reduction in wait staff. Boy can we tell the decline in MDR service since we started cruising.
I was impressed with service in the Windjammer. They quickly cleared tables. I was asked several times if I'd like coffee or anything. The food was standard.
Truly hoping that this was an isolated experience and that our next booked RCCL cruise will not have these issues. Read Less
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, which was to include CocoCay, Bahamas, and Key West. We have been to the Bahamas, but were eager to see CocoCay and revisit Key West. Unfortunately, CocoCay wasn't completed on time ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, which was to include CocoCay, Bahamas, and Key West. We have been to the Bahamas, but were eager to see CocoCay and revisit Key West. Unfortunately, CocoCay wasn't completed on time and we were diverted to Miami. We weren't especially interested in Miami but we were able to visit South Beach for about $14 each way via Uber.
The Vision is a small ship, and had recently been in dry dock in November 2018. A crew member told us that the ship was in for maintenance issues, rather than refurbishing.
We had a cabin with a balcony that had an unobstructed view. The cabin was arranged with the vanity dresser near the balcony door rather than near the cabin entry door. We had the beds set up with two twins. This set-up would not work well for a passenger requiring a walker or wheelchair due to very narrow spaces between the end of the bed and the wall.
This ship does not have updated technology to allow you to access your account on the TV, not see the daily schedule or dining options. It also does not support the Royal Caribbean app.
Service on the ship was average to very good, with one notable exception (a rather rude server in the Park Cafe.We had My Time dining and requested to share a table, and had little to no wait being seated. The food was very good, with offerings typical if Royal Caribbean.
The onboard entertainment included three comedians, Jimmy Hopper, and two production shows. The production shows were very good. We missed one of the comedians and Kimmy Hopper, and didn't care for one of the comedians. The third comedian was also a juggler and was very entertaining.
We had one shore excursions in Key West, which included the trolley and the ;Butterfly Conservator, which was really enjoued.
The cruise overall was very good. Although the ship is smaller, it was in good condition. We prefer larger ships with updated technology, so we would not likely sail on this ship again. Read Less
This cruise was a severe disappointment. The ship itself is ill designed, with no place that is peaceful or quiet. The food in Aquarius ran from mediocre most of the time to a few nearly inedible desserts. Trying Izumi for a change just ... Read More
This cruise was a severe disappointment. The ship itself is ill designed, with no place that is peaceful or quiet. The food in Aquarius ran from mediocre most of the time to a few nearly inedible desserts. Trying Izumi for a change just netted us mediocre sushi at top tier prices. The entertainment in the Masquerade theatre was clearly going through the motions for the paycheck.
Further since construction ( done by them on their own island) wasn’t finished in time for cruise season our ‘Bahamas’ cruise consisted of one stop in Nassau ( which left at 3:30 in the afternoon) and substituted a half planned stop in Miami, which only had 4 shore excursions available at all, one of which was cancelled the night before we got there.
All in all Royal Caribbean made it very clear that once they had your money they didn’t care at all if you were happy or not, I will not be cruising with them again Read Less
I’m a price/deal buyer for cruising. The stars aligned the first week of January – a low season cruise week. There were good choices- HAL out of Tampa had great window cabin pricing and air fares were good. Promenade decks are ... Read More
I’m a price/deal buyer for cruising. The stars aligned the first week of January – a low season cruise week. There were good choices- HAL out of Tampa had great window cabin pricing and air fares were good. Promenade decks are required for us as is the possibility of some ballroom/Latin dancing and extra sea days are a bonus. My decision was swayed by the fact I was four nights away from Platinum on RCCL- and the ocean view fares were good on the Vision of the Seas.
New Orleans is an excellent cruise port. The airfares creep up a little on the weekends, but the airport is close by ($35 flat rate cab or Uber) and there are lot of hotel choices. You can stay downtown or in the Garden District – we are Hotel Indigo people – boutique hotels are cool. Kevin the bartender at the Indigo knows everyone and everything New Orleans and suggested a walk on Magazine Street where we found a fun breakfast at Molly’s – grits, collard greens and eggs. The trolley gets you downtown rapidly for $1.25 or $3 (pay the onboard machine) for 24 hours. We found several yarn/knitting shops (the Quarter Stitch has Mardi Gras yarn) and I wanted to find some crawfish. Crawfish bread and gumbo were good choices at the historic hole in the wall called the Chartres House.
An XL Uber for all the baggage from the Indigo was not expensive to the cruise port (there are two main docks and at least a third for other lines) <$15 with tip or so. From downtown you can practically walk to the main cruise port which is literally on the back side of the Hilton/outlet mall and convention center.
There was no waiting at all at 11:30 to board. I did notice they were spotting and grabbing power strips from hand luggage- the surge suppressor ones are a documented shipboard fire hazard. The confiscated ones included non-surge styles. Our cabin had two real 110v outlets and two Euro ones. Pro Tip: Bring a cheap Euro (round pin to US) plug adapter and many devices (cell phone chargers) are happy on 208V /50Hz. The window cabins are tidy and just right- deck 2 was quiet and the in room couch was comfortable. Steward service 2x a day was flawless.
The Vision is a nice ship. I was studying deck plans ahead of time and was hopeful on the promenade deck- alas it has about 85% of one- no access to the bow. But the old school teak deck setup seems safer for loading lifeboats and this one has some deck chairs to relax in.
We avoid buffets- so we found embarkation lunch at Park Cafe- it was quiet (except the annoying background music) and the seating was wide open. They had a tea /hot water machine – I hate luke warm and or coffee flavored tea water- this one said 202 degrees on the display- but it was sadly unplugged at 5AM when I looked for it every morning. You could find a beverage setup in the pool area outside Windjammer that was open a lot. It had warm tea water and reportedly cold coffee very early each day.
We arrived at the MDR my time usually overdressed. Formal night was tuxes to shorts and informal night was very informal. There was a tropical night and Mardi Gras night- which we were not aware of ahead of time
Two MDR waiters stood out- Dante and Dione – and Sandee and Kevin the assistants. Head Waiters and even the Training Manager were cheerful and pitching in where needed. Service was good. Table sharing was very nice – the early breakfast and MDR lunch chats were fun. There were quite a few tables for two if you like that. Interestingly they had expert hostesses assigning tables and the senior MDR leaders were managing table turnover and inventory – they need invest in some wireless tablets for them to use. On another company – table turnover fell apart and this led to long lines.
MDR food was very good. There were always a couple of difficult main course decisions. Soups were above average but the mains were just right. Breakfast was good- they were marketing the little buffet setup- but I order eggs benedict daily off the menu. RCCL Pro Tip- a guy siting next us who was an RCCL fan gets his waffles and strawberries from Windjammer and brings them in.
We found a cheerful bartender from Jamaica up on Viking Crown Lounge – a nice space which was sometimes taken up by VIP receptions. It has nice views but was chilly and we got a hint it was a quiet place in the mornings. We looked at the menus for specialty dining but none were appealing. We are not meat and or sushi people.
Dancing was hit and miss. I was digging in the posted daily programs -and there seemed to be some Latin and pre-recorded ballroom. We got in a foxtrot or two at the Captains Reception and then they had a few nights of recorded ballroom. The Latin band was good- and one could grab a Rumba or Bachata here and there. Given the number of passengers from the South, I might suggest some pre-recorded country. Talita from the cruise staff was a fireball - wicked funny and did a great job on dance lessons, singing etc.
We saw the welcome aboard show and comedy- both were good. We poked our heads in Windjammer- the area looked small ish and the selections were not as extensive as on newer ships.
Events by the pool were ear splittingly loud and the big TV ran 24x7 at full blast.
The Meet and Mingle was interesting. It was run by the Cruise Events staff- so prizes and games – no officers. We were chased out of the area by the Park West Manager- who apparently needed an hour to set up - boo hiss.
Miami was an unexpected day stop. I found a wholesale electronics shop that was happy to sell me a tablet and we found Peruvian shrimp soup. It was either that or Little Havana. Budget land transport was the free trolley (Coral Way) that stops right at Terminal F or the crew shuttle (3$) that took you to the mall. Insider tips- The crew says this is a happy ship (lots of repeat contracts) and if time is tight and you want to go to the mall vs downtown take the crew shuttle.
The British Colonial Hilton Day Pass in Nassau again did not disappoint. Reserve this ahead of time online. It is a short walk to an exclusive private beach. The staff are cheerful and they upgraded the chairs and have a lot of new clamshell loungers. The view of the harbor is outstanding. You can see your ship- Pro Tip- if they have all several radars going and are blowing the horn it might be time to pack up and run. After coming here regularly for twenty years the recent complaints about security in Nassau are complete nonsense. Everybody here either works in tourism or knows someone who works in tourism – this is what they do.
Key West was fun- we looked for and did not find the free shuttle bus – so saved $30 each and walked a mile down to the southernmost point. A block toward Duval we found the Southernmost Beach Café. They have an epic sea view, and nice island food. And the place is on a sandy beach and rents chairs, umbrellas, etc. I regret not buying the pound bag of key lime jelly beans on the way back on Duval. There was a shop on Duval selling Turkish souvenirs- the ceramic trivets are pretty and very handy.
Disembarkation was well managed- quick and easy. Having passport checks in Key West was a big time saver.
As one of the older and smaller ships in the fleet, we were pleased with our experience. If you want to pay top dollar and expect the finest features and amenities – I would go with a larger, newer ship. But for the very low price this is a good value. Read Less
My husband and I (50-somethings) have been on half-a-dozen cruises, but not since 1/17. All but one of our cruises have been on smaller ships (Vision class Royal Caribbean and M-class Celebrity) and the one on a larger (S-class) ship ... Read More
My husband and I (50-somethings) have been on half-a-dozen cruises, but not since 1/17. All but one of our cruises have been on smaller ships (Vision class Royal Caribbean and M-class Celebrity) and the one on a larger (S-class) ship convinced us small ships are for us.
Just a few weeks ago, we decided to take a January vacation and stumbled across a sailing on the Vision of the Seas out of New Orleans. We've never been to New Orleans, or to Key West (one of the ports of call) and the price was unbeatable--I think we paid less than $900 for our inside cabin. Even pre-paying tips and adding in an internet package (about $19/day for two devices), this was a really inexpensive vacation.
We spent two nights in New Orleans at the Courtyard Marriott French Quarter/Iberville. It's a great location. We'd stay there again. We did two terrific walking tours with Free Tours by Foot--one of the Garden District and one of the French Quarter. 100% recommended. Did the obligatory coffee and beignets at Cafe du Monde, a muffaletta sandwich in the French Market (half a sandwich is enough for two people) and rode the streetcar.
Embarkation was a breeze--hotel lobby to Windjammer in less than 20 minutes.Our Lyft driver knew how to avoid the construction snarls. I gather others were not as lucky.
This was our first cruise in an inside cabin, and we were glad to discover it met our needs just fine. There was PLENTY of storage space for two (we had empty drawers) but a little less surface space (the desk is a bit shallower than in a balcony, I think, and the coffee table is replaced with a teeny circular table), so I was glad we'd brought magnets to hold papers on the wall and a shoe holder we hung over the closet door to gather our this-and-that. It helped us keep the surfaces uncluttered. Our cabin was just forward of the Centrum, but we never heard any noise. It was quite convenient to the Centrum, both the forward and aft stairs/elevators, the theater, and the casino (not that we ever went there). I think it was under the casino but we didn't hear any noise from above.
The crew is very pleasant and helpful. The activities program was really great, with lots and lots of trivia games, lots of interactive game shows, dance lessons, karaoke, etc. And the passengers were a very game and enthusiastic bunch, always willing to get involved with any game on offer. This gave us plenty to do and plenty to watch when we didn't care to do. The cruise director, Steve, didn't participate in too many of these events (or, at least, not the ones we went to) and we didn't really see him until the "Love and Marriage" Game. But there we were really impressed with his manner. He was warm and not mocking and managed to make the show hilarious while not humiliating the participants.
The rest of the activities team (Talita, the manager, and the three hosts, Orlando, Charlie and Jacob) did a nice job of keeping us busy, although I found Talita's and Orlando's senses of humor sometimes veered towards making fun of people. The DJ, Bam, had great playlists (at least, it was to my taste!) and the live music was terrific. The Rockport band, in particular, did a great job.
The ports of call were Miami, Nassau, and Key West. The price to book the Hop-on, Hop-off bus in Miami through the ship was the same as the list price on their brochure, and our excursion included a shuttle from/to the cruise port. The price for the Old Town Trolley in Key West was LESS than the online price for Old Town Trolley. Normally I feel like I'm a chump for booking through the cruise line, but this wasn't a bad deal. Plus, in Key West the ENTIRE SHIP had to clear an immigration check (whether or not they wanted to leave the ship), and being booked on the "excursion" to the Old Town Trolley got us off the ship first. So that was a bonus. In Key West we got off at the Hemingway house and took a guided tour. Definitely worth a visit. Such beautiful grounds! The entry fee is a bit steep ($14 pp) though. In Nassau, we booked an excursion to do a flight simulator where my husband, an aviation buff, got to take off and land a 737! He loved it and we're looking for when we can get back to Nassau to do it again.
Now for the bad part...the food. Two years ago, we were on the Grandeur of the Seas and discovered that the WJ at dinner time was peaceful and quiet, and that the SAME FOOD was available in the WJ and the MDR! We were delighted by this discovery--especially me, because I love to sample lots of different dishes. We were looking forward to this again, but it turned out this was not the case at all on this cruise. I'm not sure if it's because things have changed fleet-wide in two years, or because it's a different ship, or a different departure port, or what, but the food in the Windjammer was just...SAD. The offerings at dinner were typically mashed potatoes, chicken breast, steamed fish, pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, PLAIN spaghetti noodles with a vat of sauce...basically the picky eater alternative menu that is usually off to one side while the interesting food is front-and-center. But there was no interesting food. Not even as interesting as a filled pasta (even when tortellini was on the MDR menu--how hard would it be to put a dish of that out on the buffet? There's only one kitchen!) To make it even more irritating, the physical layout of the WJ is just illogical. The main entrees are at a station right inside the door. People entering/exiting have to squeeze by the people trying to serve themselves. It creates a jam up at the entrance that doesn't have to happen. Go look at the Grandeur!
Event the Park Cafe managed to make an unappealing roast beef sandwich. (Not the same cut of meat we're used to in the Park Cafe.)
Did we starve? No. Once I got over being annoyed, we found it kind of funny. The fries were good. The soft serve ice cream was fine. There was a nice selection of bread and cheese. And on the plus side, I didn't find myself overeating because of all the appealing choices and wanting to try everything. My understanding is that the food in the MDR was better (certainly the menu was more interesting) but we'd booked late and been assigned an 8 pm dining time which conflicted with a number of things we wanted to do.
I would have liked to see a couple of lectures (the only port talks were from the shopping "experts" and the shore excursions team, and there wasn't--as far as I saw--even a lecture from a ship's officer about navigation or similar topic). We've enjoyed these in the past. I also would have liked to see more of the activities that took place in the theater broadcast on the stateroom t.v. I didn't come across anything until about Day 5. These are minor issues because we spent most of our time out of the cabin anyway and generally had plenty of things to do. Read Less
We chose this cruise for the port of departure, New Orleans, and ports of call. New Orleans is always a great city to enjoy and explore before or after a cruise. We had sailed on her four years before and were pleased. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the port of departure, New Orleans, and ports of call. New Orleans is always a great city to enjoy and explore before or after a cruise. We had sailed on her four years before and were pleased. The embarkation/self assist disembarkation was smooth and organized. We did not view any live entertainment since theater shows are not our first choice. We were very disappointed in the lack of movies, but those viewed were to our liking. Our interior cabin was clean. We were disappointed that we were unable to have a kettle in our room. We have Diamond status and have always been able to have a kettle for hot water in our room. The biggest disappointment was the food. We enjoy the self service in the buffet due to the large number of choices for vegan and ethnic choices. Basically, this was nonexistent on this cruise, no variety, no spice. I know we could have asked for special treatment and meals, but I would rather others enjoy a variety also. In fact, many people I heard also were discussing the lack of this feature. I would go on this cruise again if they departed from New Orleans, but not on the Vision of the Seas. Read Less
We a RCCL cruise as a gift from a local casino and chose Vision out of NOLA since it's a drivable distance. Embarkation was quick and easy and we only had to wait about 30 minutes before cabin was ready. We enjoy the smaller ships so ... Read More
We a RCCL cruise as a gift from a local casino and chose Vision out of NOLA since it's a drivable distance. Embarkation was quick and easy and we only had to wait about 30 minutes before cabin was ready. We enjoy the smaller ships so immediate liked Vision and the layout of the ship.
The ship had recently been refreshed with new carpets, wall coverings, deck loungers, etc. We had what appeared to be new mattresses which were very nice. The safe also looked new and was very easy to set up with a 4 digit code rather than swiping a card.
The Windjammer buffet was set-up with salads, fruit and hot food choices on two lines, one on each side of kitchen area which meant lines moved quickly and we rarely had to wait. Another area before getting to tables was set up with sandwiches and taco making for lunch and dinner and omelets or freshly prepared eggs for breakfast. Across from it was another area that had pancakes, waffles, etc at breakfast and at lunch and dinner hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, etc. Everything was kept at proper temps. In the center of dining area, there were desserts for lunch and dinner and pastries and cereals for breakfast.
We chose my time dining which was on deck 5 just above the set time dining room. We liked the layout since there was a large opening in the center of deck 5 dining area that allowed a spacious feeling and ability to enjoy any entertainment happening in the deck 4 dining room. Our wait staff was the best we've ever had with Rama as head waiter, Remy as waiter and Jocqaim as asst waiter. Being a waiter in my time dining room can be a real challenge and these guys made us feel like we were their only table. Food was all very good and hubby enjoyed the Indian food many nights. We felt no need to pay for specialty dining on this cruise. It was very easy to get a table for two each night and once we had a good idea of when we wanted to dine, I made reservations.
Even though the smaller ships don't have the extra activities the larger ships have, we felt the cruise director and his crew did a great job with activities. We found plenty to do and also found it to be a very relaxing cruise. There was live music in the centrum most of the time and the thriller dance classes were very popular. It was fun to see their final performance on last night. We would sail again on Vision with no second thoughts. We'll definitely consider a European cruise on Vision.
This cruise was out of New Orleans with stops at Miami, Nassau and Key West. Read Less
We wanted a winter getaway and when we saw that Royal Caribbean was sailing out of New Orleans we decided to give them a try. We liked the fact that the drive from St. Louis to New Orleans was usually an easy drive down I-55, It was not ... Read More
We wanted a winter getaway and when we saw that Royal Caribbean was sailing out of New Orleans we decided to give them a try. We liked the fact that the drive from St. Louis to New Orleans was usually an easy drive down I-55, It was not so this time as 10 miles out of Memphis traveling 75 miles per hour we hit a hawk that shattered our windshield and we had to continue with a damaged windshield all the way to NOLA. We did arrive safe and after spending the night in NOLA we boarded the ship. Having cruised many times the boarding was just about what we expected despite the fact that our boarding agent was a trainee. My wife and I are easy going and if someone is trying to do their job we give them a lot of latitude.
With all the new ships being built it seems strange to call a ship that holds 2500 passengers one of the smaller ship but actually I found that I liked the idea of fewer passengers, My wife had been on the Allure of the Seas with our granddaughter and she commented how crowded the public rooms were on the Allure all the time, The ship is a little tired looking but I did not find it off putting but it could use an update.
It has been awhile since we cruised on Royal C and I was surprised to find extra charges in the main dining room for upgraded meals along with them trying to sell upgrades of the speciality dining. I found this a little off putting, but did not pressure you. We did purchase the drinks package and my wife took the Wi-Fi package since she is a professional actress in St Louis and was in the process of being cast in a major production in March. I don't know how we came out money wish on the drink package but I do know we had a lot to drink.
All the crew that we interacted with we friendly and pleasant. The only problem we encountered was with guest services, In Key West we arranged to have the windshield replaced Saturday morning at 9:00 in NOLA for our drive back to St. and since we were parked in the overflow lot I was concerned as to how we got to that lot with our luggage. We were told to take the shuttle which after getting on same found it did not stop at that lot. We paid the shuttle driver to get us as close to the lot as she could and then we hoofed our luggage to the lot. Guest services seemed to be uninterested in our problem, only bad mark of entire cruise.
Food was about what we expected, cabin was kept clean and neat, public rooms were clean as were dinning rooms and buffets.
We got off the ship at all stops but only to walk around as we did not book any excursion
To sum it up I think that all in all it was a nice getaway and that the crew of Royal C did a fine job. As I said we are easy to please and we don't go out of our way to find fault or look for tings to nit pick,
We were fortunate to have pleasant companions at our dining table and again being a "smaller" ship made it easier to get a table at the buffets, around the pool and public rooms. The one highlight of the entertainment was the Thriller Dance. The passengers that took part in the dance really worked hard and the fact that they were made up to look like zombies was a nice touch.
The casino had a live dealer at the Texas Holdem table and that too was a nice touch and again being a smaller ship we were able to get a seat at the table.
Along with our harrowing drive down we found when we got off the ship that there was a snow storm in St Louis and they had 15" of snow. After waiting 2 hours for or windshield to be replaced we started home after, We debated staying in NOLA but decided to drive till we hit snow, We got within 20 miles of our home and were able to limp home arriving safe and sound.. Read Less
We booked late, and this was what fit our budget. That should have been the first sign.
The ship kept reminding me of "The Love Boat" then it occurred to me that it was almost that old of a ship. The styling, the dance floor, ... Read More
We booked late, and this was what fit our budget. That should have been the first sign.
The ship kept reminding me of "The Love Boat" then it occurred to me that it was almost that old of a ship. The styling, the dance floor, the carpet... It all just seems styled in the 90s. Even though I'm sure the vision has had a refit since.
I'm not a huge participant in cruise activities, and I'm not complaining about that, it just struck me as mediocre. The food was ok, not amazing. The bars were stocked with decent top shelf spirits, not the best. The service was ok to poor until we started hanging out with a diamond member. Then it got better.
Over all, I had a good time, but it's not what I've come to expect from Royal Caribbean. It just seemed to be the bare minimum required. Read Less
We took a 7 day cruise out of New Orleans. We took this cruise for several reasons. The first reason is because it left from New Orleans. Since we live just outside of New Orleans, it is very convenient to just drive to get on the ship. ... Read More
We took a 7 day cruise out of New Orleans. We took this cruise for several reasons. The first reason is because it left from New Orleans. Since we live just outside of New Orleans, it is very convenient to just drive to get on the ship. The second reason is because it was a Royal Caribbean ship. We have sailed several times with this cruise line. We usually enjoy their ships. The third reason is because it was a New Year's Eve Cruise. Overall the cruise was enjoyable but there were some disappointments with this cruise ship. The entertainment was top notch. The music was good and the entertainers were awesome. Our cabin was very comfortable. We did not have a very attentive room steward. We also did not care for the food in the main dining room. We did not eat in any of the specialty restaurants. The ports were visited were very good except Miami. We landed in Miami on New Year's Day. Most of the tourist attractions were closed. This port was a change in our itinerary. Originally we were supposed to go to Coco Cay. We were very disappointed with the change in itinerary. Read Less
We chose this ship because friends were sailing on this ship at this time. We ended up being on different floors, not what we expected. The ship only had one dining room and seemed to lack the amenities that other ships have. We were in ... Read More
We chose this ship because friends were sailing on this ship at this time. We ended up being on different floors, not what we expected. The ship only had one dining room and seemed to lack the amenities that other ships have. We were in a handicapped room and did have a refrigerator and lots of room but it was located under the Windjammer Buffet. After 2 nights of not sleeping because of noise I spoke to someone in charge of this area... he got the noise to stop. I hope future ships have more insulation between floors. The bathroom had peeling paper on the door... needed attention. The staff was wonderful, especially our head and assistant waiters. They made dinner time a pleasure. This was a New Years cruise so there were lots of children. The running down the halls was a little hard to handle. Parents should get their kids to behave... The activities were geared towards families and had lots of participation. Read Less
I chose this cruise because RCCL has not sailed from New Orleans in many years. Was very happy to see them back as it is only hours from home. Embarkation went fairly smoothly. They needed more people to manage the seating for priority ... Read More
I chose this cruise because RCCL has not sailed from New Orleans in many years. Was very happy to see them back as it is only hours from home. Embarkation went fairly smoothly. They needed more people to manage the seating for priority boarding area. The overall condition of the ship was good. I saw nothing to complain about. I had a balcony cabin (#7028) on port side near the front. Was skeptical at first about the location but it proved to be just fine! There were two of us in the cabin and we had more than enough storage available. Actually we didn't use some of it. I also appreciated that it had a full size sofa, not a short two seater like on other cruise lines. We had a mini fridge which I appreciated very much. The only thing I was not really happy with was the shower - small and the shower curtain had a tendency to stick to you when showering. They should replace the curtain with a shower door. For the most part the food was good but average with the exception of Chops Steakhouse which was very much worth the extra $$ paid. There was always something going on somewhere on the ship. Lots of trivia type games etc. The entertainment was good though I didn't go every night. As far as service was concerned, everywhere - cabin, Windjammer, bars, main dining room - it was exceptional. I have no complaints. We had three ports of call. Nassau, Key West and Miami (supposed to be Coco Cay but there is construction going on there). I didn't get off the ship in Nassau, been there, done that. Key West was a lot of fun with visits to the Hemingway House, Sloppy Joes, and Kermits Key Lime Pie. Not enough time to do it all, must go back! Miami didn't interest me so just went to Bayside Marketplace and shopped and stopped at Bubba Gumps and Tradewinds for drinks and people watching. Bubba Gumps has free wifi of which I partaked. My past 5 cruises have been on NCL (smaller, older ships) which I liked until the last one (bad service). I will definitely be looking to sail again on RCCL, just their smaller ships though. I do not like the mega amusement park ships. I also will not plan another New Years cruise - to many kids on board with parents who did not control them. Read Less
Had a wonderful cruise on the Vision over New Year's 2018/19. The food was great (too great, I gained weight for the first cruise of the last four!) And the service was amazing. While we enjoyed the "my time" dining, the ... Read More
Had a wonderful cruise on the Vision over New Year's 2018/19. The food was great (too great, I gained weight for the first cruise of the last four!) And the service was amazing. While we enjoyed the "my time" dining, the hostess were always accommodating if we wanted to dine a little earlier in the main dining room. We were seated in the same section each time, therefore the waiter and his associates were able to remember who we were and what we liked, not to mention our names! Our experience was great as well in the Windjammer. Tables were cleaned almost immediately after folks left or plates were emptied. Staff was always willing to help anyway they could. Entertainment was abound. There was always something to do. We ended up spending much time Schooner playing games (trivia, scattagories, etc.). Night entertainment was generally later than we liked (just can't stay up as late as I used to), so only heard one of the comedians, and he was great.
Our cabin was a standard forward balcony. The storage in that cabin was amazing! We actually had storage areas we didn't even use! Shower was a bit small and the shower curtain liked to get a bit personal some days, but overall the layout of the lavatory was fine.
We had just sailed on the Norwegian Star over Thanksgiving 2018 and were able to compare the two ships and crew and I must say, I was a Norwegian fan, but am now a Royal fan for sure. So, overall, I would highly recommend the Vision to anyone wishing to sail on a smaller ship with a wonderful captain and crew. I just wish they would stay in NOLA!!! If they would, I would certainly sail her again. Read Less
We wanted to try cruising without all the fuss of a larger ship. The Vision of the Seas was a lovely ship with a great crew! We easily were able to navigate and figure out where everything was. The Masquerade theater provided great ... Read More
We wanted to try cruising without all the fuss of a larger ship. The Vision of the Seas was a lovely ship with a great crew! We easily were able to navigate and figure out where everything was. The Masquerade theater provided great comedy entertainment and shows. It was a New Years cruise and the crew provided an awesome party! The service was divine. We were well taken care of and we did have a mishap. My 17 year old daughter smashed her finger in the door and we got to experience the med deck. They took excellent care of her and provided x-rays at no additional cost to us. She had actually fractured her finger in all this but the clinical crew were very helpful and accommodating and it did not ruin her time. The rest of the cruise all our stateroom staff would ask each day how our daughter was feeling. Those extra touches made us feel welcome and cared for! Read Less
We chose this cruise for our grandson's 6th birthday; we got a really good price and have sailed Carnival 4 times before. We were interested to explore the larger Carnival Dream. It really is a large ship but the layout makes it ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our grandson's 6th birthday; we got a really good price and have sailed Carnival 4 times before. We were interested to explore the larger Carnival Dream. It really is a large ship but the layout makes it seem cramped in most areas. The pools are EXTREMELY small - 2 of them that only accommodate 17 people each! They looked like "people soup" most of the time. The slides were nice but the water park area for the children was very small as well. We stayed in a room on the first floor with a porthole which was nice, but there were several problems. The room was near the gangway and was extremely noisy. We had a bathtub and a shower but both had drainage problems and had to be repaired. The safe malfunctioned twice and we had to wait for staff to come reopen them. The first night we had to wait almost two hours for a staff member to bring an extension cord for my husband's sleep apnea machine - there was only ONE electrical outlet for U.S. voltage and it was across the room from the bed! The dining room staff were rushed and severely understaffed, consequently dinner often took two hours from appetizers to dessert. Consequently, they had very little time to socialize or entertain. Some of the food was delicious but most of it was just mediocre. Lots of photo opportunities including a fun "props" night but 8x10 photos were a whopping $22.00 each with no offers for "buy 3 get one free" or anything like that. The Camp Ocean was fun for our 6 year old; seemed well staffed and kept the kids active and entertained. The Dr. Seuss character breakfast was very nice and we enjoyed that. Unfortunately they scheduled this at the same time as the Towel Animal Theatre so we had to leave early to catch both. Definitely a downgrade overall from past experiences on Carnival and we will not sail with them again. Read Less