Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by LovetoSkiCopper: Family cruise to Northern Europe/Russia
Overall Member Rating
Family cruise to Northern Europe/Russia
Destination: Baltic Sea
Took a family cruise out of Oslo, Norway to St. Petersburg, Russia, Tallin, Estonia and Copenhagen, Denmark. Overall we were happy with RCL (it's our 3rd cruise with them), the ship and the services that they provided so we will most likely cruise with them again. As usual, the Adventure Ocean kids' club was a huge hit with our kids. Only a couple of things that I wanted to mention.
1) We loved the ports of call. However, the ship is not in port long enough in Denmark and Estonia. We took ship sponsored shore excursions. Spent a lot of time in a tour bus taking pics as we flew by major attractions. Would have been nice if the shore excursions had been longer/more detailed so we could have taken more time to see the attractions. St. Petersburg was the highlight of this cruise. We did a detailed, private tour of the city with Best Guides. Was an 11 hour excursion but the most detailed and enjoyable excursion we've ever been on. The ship didn't sponsor this More excursion.
2) Overall the ship was clean. However, they allowed smoking in the casinos and right outside of the sliding glass doors on the pool deck. For us nonsmokers, we had 2 concerns with this arrangement. a) they put the free ice cream machine for the passengers in the smoking section on the pool deck. so anyone (kids or parents) getting ice cream was forced to breathe in secondhand smoke. i also felt sorry for the kids forced to sit with their parents in this section while they puffed up a storm. b) because they allowed smoking in the indoor casino (which is an open room), the faint smell of cigarettes could be detected in the nonsmoking areas of the ship as well.
3) The ship is not very big (2,300 passenger) compared to the newer ships that are coming out. Over time, it becomes a bit of a struggle for the parents to find something to do on a boat that size. And with only 3 ports to visit on this particular cruise, you are on this boat an extra day (past cruises on other ships were 4 ports in 7 days). Last year, we took the same size ship to Alaska. There were 18 of us on that trip (versus us 4 this year) so we didn't notice that there weren't that many things to do on the boat of interest to us. The next time we cruise, we will look for a bigger ship or invite more people to cruise with us on a smaller ship that stops in more than 3 ports.
4) I would say 90+% of the folks on this cruise were retirees. Not a deal breaker by any means. The cruise was still quite enjoyable. However, it would have been more entertaining for us as a younger family if we could have cruised with more families with younger kids. In spite of that, our kids didn't have any problem finding a couple other kids to play with regularly thanks to RCL's Adventure Ocean program. Less
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Cabin review: GS8518 Grand Suite
Loved our cabin. It was plenty big for the 4 of us. Bathroom was very large in our opinion. Had large bed for the adults and pull out bed for the kids. Had a "bar area" (had some drawers for storage too) which was nice when we had breakfast delivered to our room. Had large wardrobe area with plenty of room for clothes and suitcase. We loved our balcony. Spent many times gazing at the sun, the full moon or just having a glass of wine while the boat pulled into and out of the ports. Given this ship overall wasn't that big, we wanted to be on the highest passenger deck so we selected our cabin on the 8th floor (not near front or back of boat).Read All Grand Suite (GS) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
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Saint Petersburg amazing
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