Quick comments from our 5/8/11 Vision cruise:
Took forever to board. Paid for cruise with one credit card, and used a different card for incidentals on board. Apparently, this was too confusing for them and took 2 extra people to solve. Baggage never arrived and we found them on deck 1. We had wine (gifts from our pre-cruise stop in Manchester) with us. While hubby was detained, I grabbed one suitcase and headed to room. Hubby then grabbed another and brought to room. When he returned, he gave up the last bottle, which was returned to us on the last night. By the way, we had also purchased a platinum wine package ahead of time.
We had aft cabin 7158. Nice and spacious, plenty of storage room for 3 people. Balcony was large, overlooking the wake. However, the first night had so many loud annoying squeaks in the ceiling. We called guest relations at 3:00am and they sent a manager and maintenance worker to our cabin. The worker came back the next day and said there was nothing they could do. The squeaking got a bit better, but then returned on the last 2 nights. Complained to guest relations and received some credit towards a future cruise, so that was fair. Room steward was excellent.
Dining room: First night (My Time 7:15) the wait was very long until someone first approached our table. Finally grabbed a head waiter who profusely apologized, and then future service improved. Waiters were fine. Food could have been much better. Formal night dining room was half empty. Those who showed up didn't even bother wearing a jacket, or dress shirt. Most nights jeans were the norm. Women dressed casually...very little "glitz and glam." Nothing special on the menu for formal nights, and no lobster. I was told the Europeans don't care much for lobster. One night they said they ran out of shrimp cocktail, but I told the waiter I knew he could find some, and towards the end of my meal, he did. Turned out it was a mix up in the kitchen (??). Windjammer manager even agreed they could use a new chef. Orange juice was watery and weak. Coffee was always bad, and I am not that picky! Thank goodness for the Seattle's Best on board and the buy one-get one coupons we received. Great cookies there too for free, even if you don't purchase a coffee! When they supposedly ran out of lox for breakfast, the manager got us some from the dining room bar. Oh, although we didn't eat breakfast in the MDR, friends did and said it was a zoo. Apparently, it was serve-yourself at the bar, or the waiters would bring it to you. So lots of people walking around getting their food. Pizza in solarium could have been much better. Also noticed no cheddar on board, only mozzarella. Not a biggie, but still. Best food on board were the deviled eggs I made for our CC party on our aft balcony. Hubby took a bunch of hard boiled eggs at breakfast, and some mayonnaise and mustard packets. Even found some Worchester sauce! They were a hit!!
Sea Days: Very little if any organized activities. Went to a scrapbooking class and were rushed out of there as we were hurrying to make a greeting card with scrap papers. With nothing else to do on the ship, why did we have to be rushed?? We asked the hotel director what there was to do at 4:30pm, and he checked the list and seemed surprised the next activity was at 7:30pm. He said he would make a note for Sol, the CD. We did notice that there were many people sitting in the Centrum, looking very bored on the sea days. Solarium was full of screaming kids, so that was not an option.
Shows: ok, nothing to rush dinner for. Illusionist was good.
Gift shops: They brought out Russian dolls, etc on the evening after our stop in St. Petersburg. Many of the smaller dolls got grabbed up quickly. When asked if there were more, they said they were out. The next evening, there were more. Why not just tell us there would be more the next night?
Overall, I did enjoy the cruise and made the best of it. The ports were the highlight anyways. I would probably not sail RCCL again, but because they gave us a credit, I went ahead and did a pre-booking to give them another chance.