The cutbacks clearly show and the crew did generally not seem to be as motivated, as friendly as we experienced on previous cruises with RCCL. The nation of why not...treat passengers as selfloading freight.
The itinerary of this 5 day cruise was Copenhagen, day at sea, Bergen, Geiranger (Fjord) (tender), day at sea and back to Copenhagen.
Cruise Director Matt Sole used to say "You are not here for a long time, you are here for a good time", but to us it seemed, the crew acted different...
Hotel Info We had no hotel stay before or after the cruise.
Travel To Port of Embarkation We flew in the morning from our home in Germany by Lufthansa and Scandinavian Airlines to Copenhagen airport. For transfer from the airport to the freeport cruise terminal we used the metro Line 2 and bus no. 26, change at Kongens Nytorv (DKK 31.50 for a single trip ticket). Do not use the bus no. 26 "Cruise Ships", it heads to Langelinie, the other pier. From landing in CPH Kustrup it took us just under 1 hour 30 minutes to get to the freeport cruise terminal, a 5 minute walk from the bus stop to the tent which is the cruise ship terminal. As we arrived early we were on board in less than 20 minutes, later there were some queues but nothing serious. Stateroom We had booked an inside stateroom N guarantee. We got inside stateroom K. Small/tiny old TV. No minibar. Clean. Soap very basic, like Motel 6, with a cruise one still expects a higher standard.
Dining For breakfast we used twice the roomservice, all other meals we had in the self-service Windjammer Cafe. We were sort of ok with the plastic plates. Food was ok, fish dishes much better than on past cruises. We had a soda package, but in the Windjammer we often had to order the coke two or three times to get one. Staff was more into selling wine/beer and did not care. On the evening leaving Geiranger Fjord the Windjammer Cafe was a popular choice for dinner as on this ship it is situated on deck 9 forward so you could have great views of the great Norwegian landscape. But as every evening, even with such great views, part of the Windjammer was closed to passengers so not everyone could enjoy a window table. On the port days we had good reason to get up early and enjoy the Norwegian coastline before and after sunrise in the early morning hours. Again, Windjammer Cafe would have been a great place to enjoy a window view. Closed. From 6am to 7am a small early bird breakfast was offered in the sheltered area in the open outside the Windjammer Cafe, temperature around 10 C/50 F, sometimes rainy, what a service! Room-service breakfast hours were also reduced to 7am to 10 am, morning of departure not available at all.
Service Our stateroom attendant never introduced himself properly to us, we did not get his name card.
Ports We did not do any of the ship´s excursions.
Bergen We waked to Bryggen and the fish market. Then we went by the funicular railway (NKR 70,00 return) to Mount Fløyen. Rainy, but great view.
Extremely unhappy experience during this stop, one of the only two ports of call of this cruise. We wanted to go back on board for lunch. There was a long queue, without any coordination by the port or ship staff. Fellow passengers/crew jumped the queue, the screening area inside the ship was slow/chaotic. All in all we had to queue for 45 minutes in cold rain to get back to the ship for lunch (though WE had umbrellas AND winter clothing), very unhappy, this was not at all up to the standard we had on previous cruises with Royal Caribbean. It really ruined our day.
Geiranger Fjord. Tender. After one hour tender ticket were no longer required. Simply great scenery!
Entertainment What can I say? On our previous cruises with Royal Caribbean we generally liked the evening shows. On this cruise we only saw one out of the five to the end. I think that sums it all up.
Disembarkation Ship was in port by 7am. We choose the express walk off option (carrying all our luggage). Extremely fast. We were by bus/metro at the airport just before 8 am.
As C&A Platinum one of the few treats are bath robes for onboard use, but we had to ask for them, we did not get them right away. The coupon book was pretty useless especially as it contained coupons for services not provided onboard the Vision of the Seas. Also dropped by Royal Caribbean are the commemorative gifts for Crown & Anchor members. So really, one does not feel that valued any more.
In the elevators there were on other Royal Caribbean ships the names of the days displayed. On Vision there was only plain carpet. Looks very much like one of those cutbacks, but it is those little details, which make a cruise vacation special and give (or should I write gave) you the feeling of being special. The passenger crowd from about 40 nations was very European, most from either Denmark, Sweden, Norway or Germany.
FOR NON-US CREDIT CARDS ONLY, CURRENCY CONVERSION AUTHORIZATION For the onboard expense account currency conversion we choose option B, so we choose to have our credit card issuer convert the onboard charges. After asking for a copy/statement of our onboard account, we realized, that Royal Caribbean made a mistake and did not correctly process our signed document into their computer system. We went 4 times to guest relations and received finally a printed statement without the currency conversion by Royal Caribbean. Today we saw on our credit card account, that Royal Caribbean converted the balance of our account in breach of our signed document.
They had NO authorization for this charge/conversion. We really feel cheated by Royal Caribbean.
We were planning another RCCL cruise in November. But at the moment we feel so unhappy about this cruise...