Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by Jeannie: Vision of the Seas - Mexican Riviera
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Vision of the Seas - Mexican Riviera
Sailed on the Vision to Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta on 4/23/06. Traveled from the east coast and arrived to LAX at noon. Finally found a cruise line rep at the airport (had to search) to be left standing for over an hour then to be told it would be another hour until the next transfer bus - needless to say, my 4 friends and I grabbed a taxi! Not the cruise line's fault as it's a contractor but I was not impressed with the transfer at all and rec'd a refund on the ship so it covered our taxi cost (note it's about $65 for a taxi one way from LAX to the San Pedro cruise port).
Once we arrived at the port - embarkation was a breeze and we enjoyed the platinum/diamond check in - cookies and other treats, no lines, wonderful reps, and no hassle with the set sail pass in hand. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity have great repeat guests programs and once you hit your 6th cruise on either cruise line, you move up to the little perks like the express check-in lounge.
The More cruise was wonderful. While the Vision is an older ship with a little wear and tear, she was spotlessly clean and well maintained. We enjoyed our inside cabin on Deck 8 - set "sideways" so you enter into the middle of the room - very roomy and our cabin steward Lissette was WONDERFUL! She was a joy during the entire cruise!
Food was very good in both the Windjammer buffet as well as the dining room. We also had very good service from our waiter, assistant waiter, head waiter - all were very attentive and little extras were important - I like a straw for my water and there was one there every evening when I arrived. That's good service!
Same gripe though as other reviews regarding the internet onboard- non-existent - I tried two days and sat for 20 minutes each and nothing ever opens and then each time had to go to the pursers desk to get my money refunded on my shipboard account - wasted hours of my vacation - there is a nice inexpensive internet cafe right off the ship in Puerto Vallarta - instant and quick connection so use that instead of the ship. I also noted it to the Hotel Director when I met him at the Platinum/Diamond return guest party.
Great shows onboard, good comedy acts that we enjoyed, and one of group members was a finalist in the Karaoke idol contest.
Cabo is a great port - best margaritas are definitely at Margaritaville near the marina!! Just follow the signs or ask. We then headed to the beach bar, the Office, and spent the afternoon swimming and having fun after a $10 p.p. water taxi ride to the arch and to see the sea lions - our water taxi guy also picked us back up at the Office and took us to the tender boat area when it was time to leave - he was there right on time and it was a great bargain at $10 p.p.
Mazatlan was OK - bit of a dirty city - beaches were filthy and full of trash and the hackers were all over us as we walked on the beach - beautiful catholic church in town and we went to the market - really cool place that was bustling with activity.
Puerto Vallarta was our favorite - we did the Eco Adventure shore excursion which took us by 4 wheel drive truck up into the Sierra Madre mountains where we then rode a mule, yes a mule, up the mountain where we then did zip lines across the forest canopy along the mountain tops, hiked a bit, repelled down 2 waterfalls into fresh water pools, zip lined into fresh water pools, and more! Guides were awesome and it was a great excursion- and the hardest part for some was the mule ride (I ride so it was easy for me) or the short uphill hike. Note the mules are very tame and sure footed so no problems for anyone on the tour - they follow a set path and you have to keep kicking to even keep them at a slow walk. Excellent adventure!!
We had two sea days to enjoy - weather was chilly so we hung out in the solarium and relaxed - worked out each morning - gym is small but adequate. Note do not waste your time with any hair appts - I did an updo for formal night and was left waiting 40 minutes then got a quick job that wasn't very good - wasn't worth the $45 they charge. I've had much better stylists on other ships - just the luck of the draw I guess.
Disembarkation was easy - line at Customs of course - easily found our luggage - but again, the transfers were a mess - we sat again on a bus for over an hour before I finally got off the bus at 10:15 and told the rep that we had to go as we had flights at noon - they finally moved folks from another bus to hours and got us to LAX at 11:00 - we hurried but did make our flights luckily!
If at all possible, avoid cruise line transfers - check out your options via taxi, super shuttle, or private services especially when traveling with 4 or more people to share the cost - cheaper, quicker, easier, and much less aggravating!!
Overall a very nice cruise and we enjoyed Mexico! Less
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