This was our fifth cruise and the first time we went somewhere other than the Caribbean. We always go Royal Caribbean, our trips have always been the greatest. But this time, there was something lacking.
The ship was smaller than we were used to, a little run down; the staff wasn't as friendly, and we missed a lot of the other options that we had on the larger ships.
The good item: the location of our room was the best we have ever had! Right in the center of the ship where everything was going on!
On the bad side: public bathrooms were not kept clean, solarium cafe was understaffed and the food was tasteless, entertainment was very poor and the food was average.
Embarkation was the easiest and fastest that we have ever had! Make sure and do the Set/Sail pass on-line before you go. Debarkation was also a breeze! You used to have to look for your luggage in a mountain, but now they have the luggage in separate rooms according to colors. This also went very fast.
We were all prepared to buy a horse, like we have done on other cruises, but they did not have a horse auction! they treated the horse race as a children's game - this should not be allowed - there is gambling going on during these races, it should be for adults. And do have the horse auction!!!!
TV selection was poor, you couldn't access your account on the TV like you can on other boats. There is no refrigerator in your room! Outside the Windjammer they had coffee and water - but no tea! You had to go inside to get a glass of tea. And only one ice cream machine - and not real ice cream!
You might think I am being "picky", but we have been on 4 other Royal Caribbean ships and we are used to these "comforts". I think the Vision of the Seas must be one of their older ships, therefore, the lack of these amenities. But that does not count for the unfriendliness of the staff.
The Mexican Riviera trip was a new experience for us. We are used to stopping at Islands, not ports, but we enjoyed all our ports. Wish there could have been one more! Three stops in 7 days is not enough.
We never book excursions from the ship, we "wing-it". At Cabo San Lucas, we walked the town and the pier. Don't take the time to go to the shopping mall, it is just like you would see in any big city. We did enjoy the shops and bars along the pier. And we went to Cabo Labo - Sammy Hagar's bar.
In Mazatlan we rented little cars - and I do mean little! But we had a great time driving all over the city on our own. The cars are for rent as soon as you get off the boat, they hold two people. We always travel with a group of six, so we rented 3 cars for 4 hours.
In Puerto Vallarta, we split up. Two of the men went deep sea fishing. They took a cab to the marina, did their own bargaining, and got a boat with a captain and first mate for four hours. They had a great time. The rest of us made a deal with a van driver for a tour of the city. This was the best tour and tour guide we have ever had, and we have done a lot of this touring and bargaining! His name was Rogelio Arreola, drives a white van, and we booked him for four hours (cost for 4 of us: $120.00) He took us wherever we wanted to go, stopped when we wanted to, and kept us informed of what we were seeing and doing. We went to waterfalls, a tequila factory, a fancy resort where boys were diving off the cliffs, to the beach, downtown shopping - I just can't stress how much we enjoyed our day with him. I have his phone number if anyone is interested.
We will continue to sail Royal Caribbean, but we know now to always book rooms on the larger and newer ships. Do try the Adventure of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas - what great ships....food, entertainment, the center street down the middle of the ship, Johnny Rockets, and the Horse Auction...