We decided to take this cruise in August after being offered a great deal by KLM for a flight to the Middle-East even though we were just coming back from a cruise on the Voyager of the Seas on the Adriatic . We had always wanted to visit Israel and the Palestine so this was like a dream coming thru .
There was a 12 hours stopover in Amsterdam which meant that the embarkation on the Vision of the Seas had to be in the middle of the night . Even though it was very late and there more than 60 of us on the same situation , we were greeted with a smile by all the crew members we met on the ship . The embarkation process was easy and fast and we were offered help to bring our luggage to our cabin .
We had a late breakfast and we our first reaction was the same that we have had on the Voyager of the Seas 3 months earlier : breakfast is a major weakness for Royal Caribbean International , in fact it is the worst of the 10 cruise lines we have cruised with . It proved the same in The Windjammer and the Aquarius dining room : limited selection , lack of presentation and variable degree of cooking . This is surprising because lunch was comparable to other cruise lines while dining is a little above average .
The ship itself is in a good condition for its age . The decoration is very nice , the cabins are a bit small , without a fridge and with a small T.V. Public areas are well designed and maintained and we never felt crowded . The only minus was the replacement of carpets on the Promenade Deck while the ship was at sea . Bad timing ????
Entertainment was good , in fact better than average and much better than what we saw on the Voyager of the Seas . The only minus was the poor information provided on the ports of call ; in fact the person in charge of the presentation started by telling us that she had never been in Israel
The service overall was excellent ! Everywhere we felt that the crew really enjoyed working on this ship and was eager to serve us . Our waiter , Daniele , at the Aquarius was not only efficient but also very interesting . The Security people were the most courteous I have seen so far !
The ports of call proved to be the highlights of this cruise as were our fellow passengers . We met a lot of people on this cruise and I did not find anyone disappointed from what they had seen . Jerusalem is a must for anyone in a lifetime and going to Palestine is an eye-opener ! Israel overall is a mix of history and modernism and a cultural melting pot ! We took some organised excursions and some on our own and never felt threatened by any means . Fellow passengers came from 51 different nations and of a well-travelled breed .
Overall a very interesting cruise at a very low price that proved to be an excellent value ! We will cruise again with RCI . If only they could learn how to prepare breakfast like Azamara, Cunard, Princess, HAL , Windstar, MSC or the others !!!