I am part of a group of 19 Australians that went on the 28th September sailing of the Vision of The Seas. Coming from Australia it was hard for us to decide which was the best cruise line to travel on. Our travel agent tried to talk us into a Carnival cruise but thanks to cruise critic we decided on RCCL. So thank you for all of your postings as it really helped us decide.
We arrived in separate shuttle buses from Anaheim about 11:30. We decided to film some of the family arriving at the terminal and immediately got yelled at and told that no photography was allowed, we hadn't even hit the terminal yet. Would have been nice if there were a few signs on the street to let you know this.
We were on the ship in no time at all and went to the Windjammer for lunch. We found the food at the windjammer was always good and the service fantastic.After lunch we went to our stateroom, found our bags near the lifts and unpacked immediately. 3 of our suitcases fitted under the bed and 1 in the wardrobe. We found the staterooms to be very well designed although a little tight when all trying to get ready at the same time. Plenty of room to pack everything away. Our room steward Gabriel was terrific we never really saw him, which is probably because we were never in the room.The room was always clean and tidy.The kids loved the towel animals, couldn't get to the stateroom fast enough at night to see what animal we had.Sailaway was very exciting. Band was playing everyone really excited as we sailed off into the sunset.
DINING What can I say, we found this experience to be outstanding. The food and service were impeccable. Our waiter Bastu and assistant waiter Yanka cannot be spoken of highly enough. Our drinks waiter Francis was always around at the right time and nothing was ever a problem. Whatever we wanted we got.We found we enjoyed the dining room for breakfast and lunch and was a great way of meeting people. The new salad bar at lunch in the dining room is a must, I believe it had only been going about 2 weeks when we sailed. You pick what you want from a huge array,the waiters will mix the salad,dressing etc and serve it on a large plate for you this is in addition to your lunch order. Do yourself a favor and try this it was delicious. We found that all ages were catered for in the dining room from 8-71 we were all very happy with the food and service.
PORTS OF CALL Cabo San Lucas was extremely hot, we went to the Mango deck had too many Margaritas,went parasailing and jetskiing had a blast, very pretty port.
MAZATLAN This was the only port that we had made plans. We went to Stone island on our own all the boys wanted to ride ATV's on the beach. This was the dirtiest beach we have ever seen. There were dead fish,stingrays everywhere. Also the water was a funny color as if it was polluted by something. Driftwood was all over the the sand also. We wanted to go to Victors for lunch but the beach was so dirty we kept on walking until the beach was cleaner. We stopped at a very large restaurant not sure of the name but probably the biggest on Stone island it is fenced off from the vendors and has ATVs and horses for hire. We had a great time really nice food, girls had their hair braided and they even drove us back to the jetty for free. We then caught a taxi into the golden zone. Shopping not real good, but glad we went and had a look. You will be driven mad by taxi drivers.
PUERTO VALLARTA We hired a driver for 12 of us and arranged for him to show us a few of the sights which included El-Eden which has the most fantastic natural waterside, Tequila tasting and general sightseeing. Had a great day. Overall we found the shopping terrible in Mexico.
ENTERTAINMENT WE thoroughly enjoyed all the shows on board even the children enjoyed the nightly shows in the Masquerade Theatre. We visited the casino a few times and even came out ahead. We had 7 children travelling with us under the age of 18, they all loved the kids clubs. We could not keep them out of there.They have all sorts of fun activities going on all the time, we even beat a few of the older ones to bed on a few nights.
DISEMBARKATION This was fairly painless we were all off the ship by about 10:30am
Overall We had a fantastic week aboard the Vision Of The Seas. The staff I think make the difference, always smiling and always very helpful, although the drinks waiters can be a little bothersome. We found this cruise to be fantastic value for money. To do a similar cruise in Australia would cost 2-3 times more. We went to the Meet and Mingle, very badly organized, although we met some lovely people, they supplied food which I saw when we walked in but when I turned around to get something it was gone. Very hard to meet people in a circular room.We did win the raffle prize though.They need to rethink where this is held.
In closing I cannot speak highly enough of RCCL,the staff and this beautiful ship, The Vision Of The Seas. I would recommend this cruise to anyone and although we would love to cruise again the Vision is going to be a very hard act to follow. Go and Enjoy.