When Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas launched in 1998, it was the last in a class of vessels whose design represented the freshest and most innovative at that point in the company's history. (It followed Legend, Enchantment, Grandeur, Rhapsody and Splendour of the Seas.) The key? Each of the ships, albeit in the mid-size range, also offered big-ship touches.
During Vision of the Seas' dry dock in fall 2013, this concept was taken even further; the ship received its Oasis-class makeover, which included six new dining options (Chops Grille, Giovanni's Table, Izumi, Park Cafe, Chef's Table and a menu of small bites at the already existing Viking Crown Lounge and Nightclub), R Bar, the Centrum Experience (an aerial-aerobatics performance), club members' lounges, Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, an outdoor movie screen, bow-to-stern Wi-Fi, digital signage and cabins updated with new bathrooms, flat-screen LED TVs, carpeting and furnishings. Vision of the Seas' cabins, albeit slightly smaller than some on its sister ships, evoke a modern yet cozy feel that's just right for the ship's size.
The heart of the ship is the Centrum, a six-deck atrium. There's always something going on, whether it's a cooking class, family games, a live band, an art auction or, at nighttime, a jaw-dropping aerial performance. Since you have to cross the Centrum to get just about anywhere on the ship, it's easy to get sucked in -- or at least stop to enjoy the view -- on your way to some place else.
Another appealing aspect of Vision of the Seas is the use of lots of glass walls in public areas to bring the views of the outside in. In fact, more than two acres of glass was used in the ship's construction to make the sun, sea and sky part of the ship's interior as much as possible.
If you're a mega-ship junkie looking to test out a smaller size or want big-ship amenities without the crowds, Vision of the Seas would be a good place to start.