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Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by TravelDreamer75: Great Overnight stops!


TravelDreamer75
3 Reviews
Member Since 2009
6 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 3.0
Dining 4.0
Embarkation 1.0
Enrichment Activities 2.0
Entertainment 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 3.0
Public Rooms 2.0
Rates 3.0
Service 5.0
Shore Excursions 5.5
Value for Money 3.0

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Great Overnight stops!

Sail Date: October 2010
Destination: Middle East
Embarkation: Venice

Venice- spent 1 week here before departing. Loved every minute of it. Did 2 day trips- Ravenna and Padua, as well as a day in Murano. It really helps to speak the language, avoid tourist traps for restaurants, and spend the night in the heat of things (I like the St Marks area for convenience).

Embarkation: Not impressive. In all of the details of our trip, there was a start time to embarkation, there was a location (Piazzale Roma) where a bus would be, but that was it. We took a Vaporetto to the Piazzale where we found many confused and upset cruisers (not just RC though). There were no cruise line representative, not even a sign, and large mass of unorganized people. When a bus would come our way, everyone would attack it. Some people were waiting 4 hours! When we got to the port, the wait to get to a representative was not long. But, she could not estimate the time at all, for how long it would be until we could get on. We asked around and it seemed it was over 30 minutes, More and daylight was wasting! We decided to abandon the ship and go back out for the day. We went out and found a RC bus, but all he could tell us was that he was not going to Piazzale Roma, he dropped us off at the entrace to the port- no one could tell us how long of a walk to get to P. Roma, and we ended up jumping on a Costa bus back. We had asked RC about how long the buses back to the boat went- and we were told midnight.

We walked around the area of P. Roma- all the way to Scoula San Rocca and loved this area of Venice- especially the Piazza San Barnaba.

So, we got back to P. Roma at 6 pm. Waited with another group of various cruise passengers and a bus never came! A very nice local told us how to get to the port by using a 1 euro people mover and then a not so long walk- but in complete darkness. I was pretty upset at RC for the lack of information and disorganization! We finally got on the boat, found it to be a ghost town!

Room: immediately was disappointed in the drabness of this boat. I really can only compare it to RC Navigator, but I guess I expected more. It seemed more cramp, older, and the bathroom especially disappointed me with the 80's pink tile and shower curtain- loved the shower in the Naviagator.

We did learn that separate beds give you a firmer mattress. Balcony smaller than Navigator. Couch is bigger, but who needs a couch. Stateroom attendant was nice. Towel animals were not inspiring- we were not sure what they were half the time. And empty bottles of wine, food sitting out for days- did not make it out of the room until the sat inside the garbage.

Enviroment: maybe because this is the "holy lands" cruise and we were 30 somethings looking for adventure, but the boat seemed very boring and disappointing. The disco was always empty. The activities never really interested us (towel folding, lots of bingo). I really loved our Cruise Director Dave, he was really the one shining star- he made the game shows like "Love and Marriage", "belly flop contest" and other shine. Also enjoyed some of his staff, but others barely spoke English, and did not understand entertainment (ex: if you are hosting a name that tune, and someone guesses wrong, please play the answer the audience!!)

The one fun night was 70s night, and of course we had a 7am port the next day, so we did not want to stay out past midnight.

The ship in general seemed run down, it felt like a 90s hotel that needs an upgrade. The art is very uninspiring. lots of gold, in a bad way. But, by the end of the week, I liked it in a strange way.

Food/ Dining Room: Loved our Brazilian staff, we talked to them a lot, requested them at lunch. Also, our first Staff Manager that we actually enjoyed- he talked candidly with us, brought special dishes for us, etc. I like the food, a nice variety of adventerous vs old standbys. Though, I think the Navigator was better quality. Lunch- enjoyed the dining room salad bar where the staff mixes it for you- I don't think we ever had to go to Windjammer for lunch, which was a relief because the breakfast shoving match was too much to handle (this was mostly due to a certain large tour of people that were very very rude).

Entertainment- no grand shows like Navigator- like a Beatles or Celine Dione impersonator, but small, short (which I prefer) and generally enjoyable.

The small bands were nice, but just not really my style (loungey) but it was nice to see some very good dancers amongst the guests.

Internet- I personally find it offensive that the needless cable TV is free (we never watched it), but we have to pay like $1 per minute for internet. I know nice hotels do it to, but we need to get into the real world. I asked the desk about wifi- and we were told that the connection was really bad, so I paid to sit at their desks and then spent 30 minutes of wasted time (and of course money), as I could go nowhere. After talking to other people, I realized that wifi was much, much faster. but seriously, the cost is ridciulous. those of us needing the many minutes are usually doing this for work purposes.

Disembarkation:

I really don't understand the whole idea of packing up your stuff, letting someone stack it all up and take it out for you. I convinced my friend to just roll our own bag (we only had 1 bag per person and a backpack), and this was much more relaxing. We stayed in our cabin for a while since our flight was late in the day, went for a stroll to complain about our bill, then walked off easily after the large groups walked off. Easy bus ride to Piazzale Roma. We jumped on a local bus to the airport for about 3 euro (as opposed to the RC bus for $33) and we were done. Less


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Cabin review: Vision of the Seas Superior Oceanview Stateroom Deck 7 7035

Port and Shore Excursions


Used Ramses Tour- Overnight in Cairo Highly recommend an overnight tour, Ramses was great. We had a private guide and a separate driver which was nice for drop offs at the sites- saving time. I feel like the 2 days were a whirlwind of places - Egyptian Museum, Sound and Light tour, Citadel, Felluca Ride, Saccara, Mephis, Giza, Alexandria Library Drive by. I recommend it all. I really enjoyed the peace of a felluca ride. We enjoyed the sound and light show - if anything it requires you to sit and just admire the monuments for 45 min. We were disappointed in shopping- we were told we could not go to the famous Khan el Kahlili Market, but we had to go to a government place instead- which would be fine if it offered any of the products we were interested in. After 2 days of seeing cute scarves, little items of interested, and being told to not buy them becuause they were Chinese knock offs- we then got to the "good" place and we hated it. I wish we had more time for shopping, even in Alexandria which looked really fun. Maybe we had too much on our itinerary!


(5.5)
Used Guided Tours Israel Got off at Haifa, spent an overnight in Jerusalem, then back on at Ashdod. 2 of us with 1 guide Highly recommend this, though this made us standout in the security area and required a longer investigation. We told GTI what we wanted to do and they did great at this custom tour. We took a quick ride around Haifa up to the Bahia Gardens (great view!), then we drove to Tel Aviv- bad traffic so we had time to visit a local bakery, take our snacks to Jaffa and eat while overlooking the great view! Then to Jerusalem for a great walk in Old Jerusalem. We stayed at Harmony House in the new town (Great hotel! great part of time to stroll at night) The next day went to Mount of Olives for a great view, some pics, then drive to Dead Sea, float for a while, then Masada, then back to the boat! Obviously this was not a religion intensive tour, but a great variety of things that Israel has to offer. The overnight tour is not cheap (especially compared to Egypt), but considering we did not know when we would return, we wanted to do it all!

Read 88 Haifa Reviews

Ekol Guides I used them last year and had a great time. This time our guide was very flat, not interested in us (maybe sexist as we were 2 ladies travelling alone). Went to Ephesus - my 2nd time, love the Terrace Houses (the best part!), our guide knew more than last guide, but yet he made it so boring and uninteresting! I decided on something different- a day in Sirence. Loved the drive there past olive groves, lots of great views. My friend asked them to stop so we could take a pic, and we were told the views were good in the village. We got to the village and found it overrun with tourists! not the quaint village I expected. Then, we were told we had 45 min to shop, see the town, and if we wanted that view- a steep climb to a church. After taking 20-30 minutes to haggle with the scarf shop, we barely had time to see the place. Since my friend did not want to go to a carpet shop, our guide told us our tour was over, and we were going back to port (90 min ahead of what we expected), so we agreed to go to the shops he wanted just to feel we got our moneys worth. We did enjoy the pottery place, and went to the rug store just to see what it was like, and watched others shop. Walking in Kusadasi feels safe, relaxing, lots of shopping! Great Food! What a beautiful port, but if you get a guide, I hope you get the right one!

Read 356 Kusadasi Reviews

(5.5)
Spent 1 week in Venice prior to getting on- highly recommend this. I had spent the usual 2 days in Venice before, but by spending a longer time I had the ability to emphasize local culture, food instead of just the highlights. I do not recommend a tour- just a good map and guidebook- you can get anywhere by vaporetto- or from the port you can walk a great deal in a great neighborhood and take a gondola on this more romantic side of the island.

Read 504 Venice Reviews

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