We just got back home from our VOS 11 night sailing and I am happy to report, that our sailing was great.
The embarkation was smooth and quick and we were on board the ship around 11am. Cabins are not ready until 1pm , so Windjammer was the destination - that is where the food was waiting already.
After getting something to eat, we started to look around the ship to familiarize ourselves with the ship.
It is a beautiful ship and IMO, it is in a very good condition. Very clean and extremely well maintained. I did not see any areas or furnishings that were worn or deteriorated. Despite its age everything looked new to me. It is easy to find things and maneuver from one public area to another. All off the public area seemed to be close to each other and easy to find.
Wife and I appreciated the decor of the ship; mostly light cheerful colors done the way we like it.
We also enjoyed the beautiful art work, especially in the centrum on all levels. We liked the size of the ship.
The ship was partially decorated for the holidays and a day or two later all the Christmas decor was done and that made the ship even more attractive.
We had a mid ship cabin cat L on deck 4 very close to centrum. It was a very good location for us: very close to centrum where a lot of activities were often taken place on deck 4 ( like music, dance classes, lectures, culinary demos, flag parade ) , close to champagne bar, close to the elevators, close to the MDR, close to GR ( just one floor up), close to photos display, close to embarkation and debarkation point at the start and end of cruise ( deck 4 centrum), close to gangway - centrum deck 1 , the way out to the ports.
It was also a good place to be during the first few days when there was some movement of the ship (strong wind and rough seas), and being low and in the mid of the ship, the movement was not as noticeable. We were very happy with our cabin location ........ and in addition we had a very good cabin attendant.
We dined at the Aquarius Dining Room main seating ( which is in the time frame for 'arrival/ entering' 5:45pm - 6:30 pm) , our entry time was mostly 6pm and the dinner took about 90 minutes, but I have seen some people coming in at 6:30pm or just a little later. We had a perfect location ( for us) right in the middle of the dining room , table for two NR 144. Luck was on our side and we had two excellent dining room staff. Perfect service : always on time and at the proper temp. What was to be served hot - was hot , what was to be served cold was cold. Very cordial , well organized, professional service.
We enjoyed every single dish that we ordered: wife had mostly sea food , I had mostly meats. Not even one bad meal or dish in the whole cruise. When the waiter noticed that I or wife had some interest in another dish beside what we ordered ....... that dish appeared on the table in addition to what we ordered.
The My Time Dinning in the Aquarius was: 5:30 pm - 9:30pm. ( arrival time)
The second seating in the Aquarius was: 8:30pm - 9:30pm ( arrival time)
The Aquarius MDR was open 7:30am - 9:30 am for breakfast and on no port days: noon - 1:30pm for lunch.
One morning we decided to take advantage of the 'free specialty coffee' offered to members of the upper tier of the C&A and when we got to the Aquarius there were not many C&A members in the designated section. The specialty coffee of my choice was quickly delivered, order was taken and the selection in the MDR buffet was good as well - the whole experience was good.
On another day there were probably 100 or 200 members of the upper tier in the designated area and there were not enough wait staff to take care of the large number - so the service was very sloooow.
One night we went to the windjammer after our dinner just to see what they serve there. The hours for casual dining - dinner there are 6:30pm - 9:00pm.( arrival time) We were there around 8pm. There were quite a few people there and it seems to me there were good and many selections of food. So one can not go hungry on the ship unless one chooses that option.
The windjammer was also open with different food ( breakfast, lunch, snacks) from 6am to 5pm. Most of the breakfasts we ate at the windjammer and we always found something that was very good and enjoyable.
The omelet stations ( just two) usually had a little line and some waiting time was required.
The service in the windjammer was very, very good. The food selections and presentations were very good as well. There were times when all or most of us decided to show up at the same time - it was a little tricky to find a table. Some people just stayed there even when not eating and occupied the tables that some could use for dining , There were also tables for 4 or 6 that only two people were using them and others were to shy to join them.
Several times I / we stopped at the solarium cafe that is open : noon - 6:30pm and offers during that time pizza/hot dogs/burgers/sandwiches. And again 9:00pm - 1:00 am , pizza, hot doge, burgers. They also had some fruit there , some salads, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, fries. Burgers and pizza I tried and I did like it, but the pizza is nothing special. It is not like some pizza that I order when I am home - Square deep dish with 8 corners by Jets is what I like.
There was one more option for snacks that I did not try - it was in centrum on deck 6 at Ben & Jerry's from 7am to midnight.
There was another place on deck 9 ( just across from windjammer) that had the ice cream / frozen yogurt machine ....... that place is definitely very addictive and the machine calls you when you walk by it ....... sometimes 4 or 5 times ...... it is very hard to refuse its offering.
With all the food available and hard to resist ..........No wonder my waist line expended ......... even that I used the stairs most of the time. I even tried the fitness center ( operates 6am to 10pm) couple of times but it was not much help : I walked on the thread mill ( going nowhere) until I got tired ...... and that thing showed that I burned 450 cal ......... the piece of cheesecake that I had afterwards probably had more than 500 cal ....... so I was loosing the battle.
The Vision had a record number of C&A members on our cruise - over 1400 - the total number of guests was close to 2000 ...... so the C&A were the great majority.
There were few pinnacle, over 200 D+, around 800 D and the rest the other levels.
So the Viking was pretty full at the 5PM receptions.
Due to the large number of the upper tier C&A members, the Vision's staff had to divide the group in two for the reception in the Enchanted Evening Lounge ( two different time invitations were sent out - one for 5pm and one for 7:45pm.
We liked all the shows and enjoyed the music that all the different bands offered in different places. Our favorite was the Teddy's Band.
We did not do much in the ports ( we have been in all but one - previously). The only place that we took a tour was in St. Vincent - our first visit there. It was a 2.5 hour tour ( it was actually a little longer) purchased from the ship. Tour KG16 - Kingstown Highlights. It showed us the downtown area, Fort Charlotte , botanic gardens and a museum.
The ship did not spent much time in St. Vincent : arrival time was 7:30am and scheduled departure 1:30pm ...... I heard that two people missed the ship, even that the good Master, Captain Lis waited for them extra 40 minutes.
We really enjoyed our cruise very much and are very glad that we did book it. when we did ( the price was nice).
Our debarkation was very smooth as well, we walked out with our bags around 9am ....... we decided not to put our bags in the halfway ...... after talking to a fellow cruiser who never got his luggage thanks to port workers in Port Everglades. His bag went on Liberty even that it was properly tagged for the Vision and it was placed on the proper luggage cart in pier 4 in front of the Vision. If anyone wants to know more - ask and I will write what happened.
We had a great cruise and I believe anyone else going on the Vision will have a good one too.