Just got back from our Feb 15-25 sailing on Vision of the Seas with friends that we met on our first cruise. This trip was picked for itinerary, not the ship. The staff were excellent and service was awesome. We were a little disappointed in the lack of amenities but we were expecting that. It's a good thing that the "Old Girl" is going into refurbishment because she is looking a little tired and it is the little things like chipped tiles and small imperfections that's aging her. The ship is very clean and well kept.
The ports that were on our cruise were: Tortola, BVI; Martinique; St. Johns, Antigua; St. Croix, USVI and St. Maarten and the ship excursions are what we used for our excursions.
Tortola---We did the RCCL Beach Break at Cane Garden Bay and totally loved the white sand beach and the calm water. We did buy lunch while there and that was approximately $40 including drinks.
St. Maarten---We wandered in port as we had been there before. It was a little busy in the shops as there were 8 ships in port that day.
Martinique--- This little island has a bad reputation and we were a little apprehensive about leaving the ship. We had booked the St. Pierre and the Rum distillery tour---Awesome!!!! I am so glad that we did this tour. The guide was informative and we were picked up at the ship and dropped off there. After we returned to the ship, I was talking with others who had just gone into port and explored on their own and they had only negative things to say. My tip for Martinique is to go on a tour if you don't speak French. It is a beautiful island and is worth it to leave the ship.
Antigua--4x4 tour was okay. The dam that we were taken to is nothing like the dams in USA or Canada. Our guide was great and was informative on the area and the little towns that we passed through. The highlight of this tour in my book was Turner Beach and when I go back to Antigua, that's where I'm going to spend more time.
St. Croix--Historical Walking tour of Fredericksted- Very educational and informative. Celeste, our guide was passionate about her country and I'm sure she knew everyone in town which just made her tour more fun since everyone who spoke to her in passing, she could give some of the family history of that person. She was very proud of her home and it showed while she was explaining the history of the island and the slaves that were brought to St. Croix.
We went to a few of the shows and they were enjoyable but not really outstanding. Mike and Topi (Cruise director and assistant) were very personable and engaged the guests in the activities. There were a lot of activities and dance lessons which we didn't participate in all of them. The officers against the guests pool volleyball was fun to watch and you can tell the officers had the advantage. Also, don't miss the "Not so newlywed game"- hilarious!
All in all, I did have a great vacation with friends and I am already looking at another cruise for next year instead of a land vacation....