Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by Sangamo: Holy Land
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Athens (Piraeus)
We selected this cruise for the itinerary and it did not disappoint. Embarkation in Piraeus not great; port is hard to get to and ship's transfer is probably worth the money here. We have cruised Princess and Norwegian previously; this was our first cruise on RC. Vision was slightly smaller, but public rooms generally well kept up. Stateroom was small and in average repair, but we were comfortable.
Biggest negative was the dining. We expected second sitting to be at 815; it was moved back to 845, and the dining room opened 5-10 minutes late most nights. This is our first experience with fixed seating; we really enjoyed our table and the waiters were friendly and enthusiastic. Unfortunately they were also VERY SLOW, and didn't refill water regularly. Service took at least 2 hours all told, and we rarely even had our entrees before 10 p.m. For a port intensive itinerary, this is really unacceptable. We skipped a couple nights, because we just didn't have the energy for a two More hour sit down, plus time after to digest. Food was a notch below Princess and Norwegian, but was adequate and occasionally quite good; Windjammer buffet was average. RC is trying to roll out "my time" dining. Suggestion: Don't do it on ships not built for it. Maitre d' would not move us to early seating and there was no availability for my time. Dining room appears to be short staffed and the my time arrangement is diverting energy from the fixed seating.
Because of the port intensive itinerary, we didn't do too much of the on board activities. (We did go to the Cruise Critic event!) They had some excellent headliners, but the production shows and destination lectures were so-so. Passenger service desk was not great; they would not split our on-board credit among the stateroom, didn't deliver luggage tags for disembarkation, and there was confusion about passport collection and return. Stateroom service was also so-so; we did not get our Cruise Compass a couple days, no shampoo in dispenser, torn sheets put on bed. We took one ship excursion, which went well, otherwise went independently (see port reviews below). Other than passport delays, disembarkation went smoothly.
Overall we enjoyed the trip because of the ports. The price was right, so we feel we got a good value for the money despite some of the shortcomings. We would probably take RC again only if we wanted a specific itinerary. Less
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