April 2nd, 2013 - Eastbound Panama Canal: Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by cmlv150
Overall Member Rating
April 2nd, 2013 - Eastbound Panama Canal
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: San Diego
After lunch, we walked back to the cruise terminal - it was around 11:45am by now and HOLY cow - was there a line - going out the terminal - and once we weaved our way into the terminal - about 20 minutes later - it was standing in lines for about and hour and a half (little less or more, can't remember exactly - but it was of slow standing/walking - not good on the back).
Once we got up to the counter, as we entered the Platinum/Emerald line - it went a bit faster and we were on the ship by 2pm. We had a light snack and walked around to check out the Vision. So quaint and little compared to the bigger ships.
Overall - the experience on board was More good. I enjoyed the dining, the food was very good. I was a bit disappointed in the cruise director and cruise director staff (Elizabeth and can't remember the young gentleman from Canada, sorry - but these two were very nice and sociable, the others always seemed tired and irritated, and the cruise director himself, was not approachable - did not mingle much w/ the folk as I saw and his activities director followed him around all the time) By the way, I still remember the cruise director from my first cruise back in 2006 - on Explorer of the Seas - Chloe - fun lady and of course Ken Roman is awesome from the Allure!!- the activities on board were not to my normal expectations from Royal; however - I did notice that I was in the minority with my sailing age. It appeared to me that the majority of the guests sailing were in the senior and above range - and I do admit I met some WONDERFUL people who I will keep in touch with - however - when I go up to Karaoke at the Viking crown lounge at 10:30-11pm (not sure why so late) - it was crickets - maybe only a couple of people - the regulars who went every night - 3 or 4 people.
Ports - If you didn't spend the money and go out on a long excursion in a bus, away from the ports - there was definitely NOT much to see or do near the ports.
Cabo San Lucas - walk around, grab a drink and a little local shopping.
Puerto Vallarto - it was my step-dads bday - so again - walk around, a little shopping and a drink.
Costa Rica - little shopping and lunch at a local place - right on the corner of the main square in town.
Guatemala - more local shopping
Columbia - did the fortress and Cartagena city tour. It was pretty hot, but it was fascinating to see.
Best for Last - The day we spent going through the canal was FANTASTIC - They had a wonderful speaker who came on board to narrate and discuss the history - he was only on board while we went through the locks. I was lucky to have a balcony on the starboard side and since each set of locks we passed on the west locks, we were able to watch what was going on through the east locks. Pretty cool stuff. I will never forget this experience and be more proud of genuine human creativity and thinking that can come up with these wonderful technologies...even so many years ago.
The majority of the sailing was calm waters and smooth - except when we left Cartagena - heading back towards FL - our first evening was pretty rocky - the special speaker on board said we were crossing through something nicknamed, "The Channel of Hell" - since there were 3 different currents and gale force winds rocking us a bit.
I am not sure I will sail on the Vision again, but only because of my desire for more activities - however - she is going through a re-invention this September - so best of luck to her. Less
Cabin review: D27514 Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
I enjoyed the cabin, but learned that being at the front during rocky waters was not a great idea. Will definitely go more mid-ship in the future.Read All Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony (D2) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
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Overall, A Good Trip