DW & I (late 50's) sailed RCL’s Vision of the Seas 4-day cruise, Port Everglades to Cozumel & back (2 sea days), over Memorial Day weekend 2014. I’ve never seen better cruising weather, 4 days of just blue skies, light winds & calm seas. Even the Captain commented on his last noon Bridge Advisory.
What a great start: Embarkation was the easiest ever. We were at the terminal 10:30 a.m. & right up to check-in. Done in 5 minutes & DW asks, when do we begin boarding? Answer: You can board now, cabins are not ready but the bars are & the Windjammer is open for lunch. And by 10:45 we were enjoying cocktails by the pool. Savvy thinking by RCL; more bar revenue, & everyone - staff & passengers - avoids the embarkation herd effect.
The recently refurb’d VOS looks & feels brand new. Our outside cabin (Deck 2 Aft) was a bit small but certainly functional for 2 people, featuring wood, blue hues & colorful artwork. Very efficient cabin steward & the $5-spot assured we always had ice (signage on your vanity says ice must be requested). Engine noise & vibration were slightly noticeable especially when under way, but you’re just above the engines aft or thrusters forward on a low deck. New flat-screen cabin TV, but choices were, surprisingly, lousy. No interactive technology for tours or tab review, no movie rentals; just news, TNN & RCL informational loops.
Dining was good, especially the first nite with Prime Rib & Escargots. We had 2 dining issues & I must say the RCL dining staff members I dealt with both “owned” the problem & resolved it to my satisfaction. Indeed, all ship staff to a one were professional & pleasant.
The Drink Packages proved popular, as you could tell by the many folks who always had a drink in hand even early in the a.m. One foreseeable consequence though on the first nite was the worst bathroom throw-up scene I’ve ever encountered.
No Pizza. What? Except for room service trays we saw in the hallway, no venues served pizza. We didn’t miss it.
Outside Promenade was unusable for my daily, almost-exercise walkabout, as the bow was closed (permanently) & other sections often cordoned off for maintenance. But there were plentiful deck chairs & it was pleasant to just sit, relax, breathe the sea air & watch the ocean go by.
Small, always crowded gym. The running track on top deck was pretty much impassable (crowded with sun-lovers & their chairs) on sea days.
And Tip Envelopes are back; even if you pre-pay your gratuities (automatic $12.50 pp per day) you’re “reminded” that you can give something extra to that special staff member.
We tried the self-help early disembarkation & learned if you do it, wait 20-30 minutes after it begins or you will hardly be able to get off an elevator & into the slow-moving line.
Really can’t go wrong on RCL. Bons voyages always, extom.