3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I have always heard that Royal Caribbean offers a superior product: better food, amenities, etc. I was excited to take a romantic trip with my wife after a long year. Booking was easy over the phone, and my experience was positive. I was ... Read More
I have always heard that Royal Caribbean offers a superior product: better food, amenities, etc. I was excited to take a romantic trip with my wife after a long year. Booking was easy over the phone, and my experience was positive. I was able to garner a few choice "extras" including a bottle of wine, and a fruit and cheese plate accompanied by a bottle of champagne for our room. Not a bad way to begin. Boarding was easy, and far less stressful than the several Carnival cruises that I'd taken (one out of Galveston, and the other from Long Beach). After each Carnival cruise I'd taken in the past, within a year, the ship had some sort of mechanical failure, or worse, a flu / noro-virus outbreak. Our cruises had both been positive, but I had apprehensions about booking Carnival again. We boarded the Royal Caribbean ship, and were in good spirits. Ready for a 4-day break, we set off to explore the ship, and grab a bite to eat. The ship was smaller than those we'd been on before, but I expected that. I knew that a 'quieter crowd' might be expected on this trip, and for the most part, this proved to be correct. Our first impression (which lasted us the whole journey) of the buffet was not as we expected. The good reviews I'd heard from friends failed to hold against the presentation in front of me. The options were scant, and seemed a bit under-executed. This was simple food, and lacked the charisma I would expect from an exciting cruise. Unfortunately, this proved to be thematic during the entire trip. The charisma that the food lacked was only matched by the staff that we encountered. I watched as people were cut off in the buffet line by an employee trying to reach something (a regular occurence). Instead of an "excuse me", there was a grimace, and a scowel. We were obviously invading their space as passengers, and they were going to take it back. Manners had been entirely forgotten. The culture of the crew was diminished and lacking, and their presentation and their cooking reflected it. Now, I'm sure that there are amazing Royal Caribbean ships with wonderful food. I'm not speaking to the entire fleet here. But this is actually part of the problem. Sailing with Carnival, a smaller ship meant the same menu options as the larger ones. There is fluidity across the fleet, and a standard of excellence that is obvious when it comes to their dining, at least. Our experience on Royal Caribbean leads me to believe that the ship has been 'lost' to the fleet, and is being phased out in terms of dining service. Maybe the dining room would be better, we thought. We tried for dinner, hopeful still. We took several meals in the dining room, and the experience was the same each time. Frantic, and disorganized, the wait staff were running for orders, skipping drink orders, and serving food very slowly. 10 minutes for bread to come and drink orders to be taken. 5 more minutes to order apps. 20 minutes for apps to come. After apps served, 30 minutes for mains to arrive. Dessert?? I don't know if I have the time, but still hopeful (and on a cruise, so time is relative now), we ordered. A broken Creme Brulee, and an excuse for apple pie a la mode arrive. Bummer... Not the food we'd hoped for. I could go on. I'll spare you. Mains were unexciting and the meal underwhelming, altogether. I actually felt bad for the wait staff, knowing that the systemic issues that they were facing as employees would never allow them to deliver the level of service that they were likely capable of, and they knew it too. They knew that their tips would be affected, that reviews would be posted about them, and they lived in fear. You could smell it, almost as thick as the bad apple pie.The waitstaff was only up-staged by the front-house managers though, with walkie-talkies turned to full volume behind our table as they tried to expedite from the busy kitchen. Dinner was less than romantic, I would say. The bright star on this trip was our rear-cabin. The appointments were normal, but we enjoyed the view. With scant entertainment, and smokey hallways through the ship, we enjoyed the fresh ocean air from the comfort of a lounge chair. After calling multiple times to remind the front desk of the champagne and wine we were told we would reveive when the trip was booked, days 2 and 4 finally saw these delivered. Attention to detail was greatly lacking from the front desk. Our steward however, was a delight and took excellent care of us in our cabin. The cleaning was always timely, and the room tidy. This saved the trip, frankly. People were engaged and enjoying, regardless, and we did too. I sincerely tried to look the other way the first few times when no fewer than SEVEN of our meals contained some sort of hair in them (eyelashes, facial, etc.). By our final breakfast before we left the ship, I knew that the scrambled eggs were made from diced hard-boiled eggs likely left-over from last night, combined with egg beaters and then undercooked, and I also knew that the eyelash looking up at me from my plate was not mine, culminating in my conclusion that I would probably never sail on a small Royal Caribbean ship again, but more likely, would never again sail RC again at all. The company (and ship, more likely) are trying to cut costs, and create revenue. However, when this affects my eggs, I cry 'foul'. Money always follows service and excellence. This is a dying ship as a result. Royal Caribbean needs to re-focus their efforts on quality and execution (beginning with hair nets, please). We heard the same from many on board, so we know our experience wasn't isolated. Find a different boat in order to achieve maximum value. Carnival may not have the best reputation, but it's food and our experience there FAR surpassed our Royal (or less than royal) experience on the Vision of the Seas. Safe travels! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We just returned from 5 fun filled days on Vision of the Seas! RCI has never disappointed us, and this time was no exception. The ship was clean and well maintained. Everything worked and looked great! That said, there is no getting ... Read More
We just returned from 5 fun filled days on Vision of the Seas! RCI has never disappointed us, and this time was no exception. The ship was clean and well maintained. Everything worked and looked great! That said, there is no getting around the fact that Vision is one of the oldest and smallest ships in the fleet. There are many features the boat doesn't have, but we focused on what it does offer. Being smaller, getting on and off the ship and getting around was a snap. The crew was by far the most enthusiastic we've ever experienced. The Captain even sang with the band in the Centrum! The whole senior staff participated in a pool volleyball tournament and the on board activities never stopped. The ship is very unusual in that the buffet is on the front of the ship. Most ships have it in the back along with the main dining room. This allows the crew to use a single kitchen with a single elevator to service both venues. The Vision's arrangement was probably hard on the crew, but the buffet area was beautiful and much more interesting! My only real disappointment was the areal shows in the Centrum. I had read how good they were, but we didn't have any of them on this sailing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
The ship sailed out of Galveston, which is only 3 hrs by air from LV. I have been on 60 cruises and found this ship to have the best service and crew. The Captain even joined in and sang with a band . It was a Christmas cruise, and the ... Read More
The ship sailed out of Galveston, which is only 3 hrs by air from LV. I have been on 60 cruises and found this ship to have the best service and crew. The Captain even joined in and sang with a band . It was a Christmas cruise, and the ship was decorated with a Christmas tree in the center atrium. The waitstaff was efficient, caring, and would remember you when you saw them in the buffet, etc. Getting on and off went smoothly and efficiently. The cabin was always cleaned to perfection, and the hallways free of debris and dishes. I did find the entertainment was not as good as usual. The staff also allowed children to hog the dance floor, when adults wanted to dance. The Captain had to skip a port due to a medical emergency, but a life means more than a port. I will cruise on this ship again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We booked this cruise on the invitation of a friend who was cruising for his 50th birthday. This was my third cruise, first on RC, with the two previous ones being a 2-night and a 3-night on Carnival. Overall, the service was fair, with ... Read More
We booked this cruise on the invitation of a friend who was cruising for his 50th birthday. This was my third cruise, first on RC, with the two previous ones being a 2-night and a 3-night on Carnival. Overall, the service was fair, with many of the staff seeming to not really care. In my Carnival experiences, we could barely sit down around the pool area before wait staff came around to take our order. On this cruise, we might wait 10-15 minutes, or just give up and go to the bar ourselves. However, our service in the Main Dining Room was phenomenal. If you cruise on this ship, try to get Hamza as your waiter - he is wonderful. And his back-up, Elena, is also very good. We were treated very well by all of the Aquarius staff - except the kitchen staff. The food was 'meh.' We liked the food in the Windjammer buffet better! Other particular issues: the Activities Director scheduled a trivia event incorrectly, double-booking the assigned staff. The AD arrived 30 minutes late and did a regular trivia game rather than the scheduled ABBA trivia. We were so looking forward to our ABBA quiz! While she was pleasant, she didn't seem to be terribly upset by her oversight. Additionally, we thought the ship's DJ was terrible. He did not know how to transition between songs or mix very well, and for the designated 70's party in the lounge, he played one song from the 70's Kool and the Gang) and then played 80's and 90's music. Very disappointing that a DJ doesn't know how to build a 70's disco program. I had been told that RC would be an improvement over Carnival, which has the reputation of being a "party boat" with a much younger, rowdier crowd. I think I would rather sail with Carnival again - RC was a disappointment for me! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We had a great vacation! We really enjoyed the vibe on the ship and the activities in the Centrum every night. Highlights were 70's Theme night, Rockin with the Crew, International Flag Performance and the Thriller Performance. We also ... Read More
We had a great vacation! We really enjoyed the vibe on the ship and the activities in the Centrum every night. Highlights were 70's Theme night, Rockin with the Crew, International Flag Performance and the Thriller Performance. We also enjoyed The Perfect Couple and The Quest. Our 10 year old daughter participated in the Thriller Performance and had a blast! She stayed in Adventure Ocean most of the time including late night. Captain Marek is great! We loved meeting him and seeing him out and about mingling with the passengers/attending various activities around the ship. We were excited to receive an invitation to the Cocktail Reception in Chops as well a Bridge Tour. We did not do any specialty dining or shore excursions this time. Food in Windjammer and Main Dining Room was good. Service was excellent and all of the crew we came in contact with were helpful and friendly. This was by far our most relaxing and memorable cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We looked forward to the Vision coming to Galveston. She did not disappoint us! The cruise was as close to perfect as possible. We love this size ship and thoroughly enjoyed not having to walk a mile to get around. Loved Captain Marek and ... Read More
We looked forward to the Vision coming to Galveston. She did not disappoint us! The cruise was as close to perfect as possible. We love this size ship and thoroughly enjoyed not having to walk a mile to get around. Loved Captain Marek and his personality. Very approachable guy. The crew and other passengers were all very friendly. The food was good to very good. Ate at Chops one night and WOW! Highly recommend it. Our room was a spacious panoramic midship on deck 7. We loved to huge window and our daughter enjoyed sitting on the window seat watching the ocean go by. Plenty of space and storage. Nice bathroom and shower. A bit tight but had great water pressure and temps. Easy walk to the MDR and Centrum and everything else. I had read that some people were bothered by the noise coming from the Centrum at night but it didn't bother us at all. We always bring a small travel fan with us. It made all the difference. This was our first 5-day so it did go by too quickly for my but we had a great, relaxing cruise. Will be back on the Vision again soon! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I don't want this to be a rant, just an honest review of the vessel. We have cruised several times, mostly Disney and so my review is based on my previous experiences and expectations. I believe this is a great cruise option for beginners ... Read More
I don't want this to be a rant, just an honest review of the vessel. We have cruised several times, mostly Disney and so my review is based on my previous experiences and expectations. I believe this is a great cruise option for beginners or those with limited funds. This particular cruise is affordable and just the right length, not too long, not too short. I personally found the ship, while old in years, to still seem outdated even with a refurbishment performed within the last 10 years I believe. Lots of rust stains, chipped pain, dirty windows, etc. My previous cruising experience involved crew members sanding away rust and re-painting vessel while in port, just more attention to detail. As for the food, I found it to be sub-standard quality and generally bland. Found this disappointing because my previous cruising had amazing food, and great presentation. This part may make me seem like a snob, so sorry, but I enjoy the idea of getting ready for dinner, me in a nice pair of slacks at least and my wife in a cocktail dress or maybe an evening gown. Overall, you would be overdressed in a tie-dye shirt with cigarette burns and cutoff jeans shorts at all meals, even in the dining room. Lastly, and on a positive note, the ship, food, and activities aside, the crew was amazing and did great with what Royal Caribbean gave them to work with. Everyone I met was friendly and willing to go the extra mile. If you have never cruised and are on a tight budget, this may be the cruise for you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We cruise quite a bit and wanted just one more cruise for the year that didn't break the bank - this cruise fit the bill (both from a price point and also because it was a short cruise leaving from Galveston). While Vision of the Seas is ... Read More
We cruise quite a bit and wanted just one more cruise for the year that didn't break the bank - this cruise fit the bill (both from a price point and also because it was a short cruise leaving from Galveston). While Vision of the Seas is an older ship (1998) they've kept it in good condition and the layout (fairly standard), provides for easy movement about ship. We also never felt like we were crowded (had about 2,200 passengers this trip). Summary of points: Good: 1. WIFI/internet is pretty darn good for a ship - never really had a lot of issues and the pricing ($127 for 6 days) was pretty competitive 2. Good flat screen TV's in staterooms with decent selection of Channels (news, ESPN/Sports, old movies plus about 10 Royal Caribbean channels) 3. Beds were comfortable and the stateroom very functional (note: we got an interior cabin just to save money and our cabin was on an "interior" hallway which made it one of the quietest staterooms we've every had! 4. Entertainment was pretty good overall (the Broadway dancers/singers really tried hard we thought) 5. Food in the upstairs buffett (Windjammer) was overall very good and they always had fresh food coming out Not So good: 1. Food in the main dining room was "spotty". The steaks and beef dishes pretty good - the fish and other dishes not so good. The desserts also ranged from good to awful. I think the main dining room staff is a little overworked as well - our waiters seemed to be handling a lot of tables. 2. Ports of call were OK - Costa Maya is not a very good stop unless you like a small economically depressed area and our catamarran snorkel trip was not a good experience. 3. The gym area is fairly small but has good equipment - fortunately it was never very crowded on our trip. 4. The regular coffee they use on this ship (not the bistro coffee with an added cost) is the WORST coffee I've ever had on any ship. If I try RC again, I may bring my OWN coffee! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
food was above average, but employees, liars, lazy, not service oriented, on lido deck. My set down dining was great naudia , my first week she was assistant but did all the work and then the next week she became lead waiter. My cabin ... Read More
food was above average, but employees, liars, lazy, not service oriented, on lido deck. My set down dining was great naudia , my first week she was assistant but did all the work and then the next week she became lead waiter. My cabin stewart down right has an attitude. I think she hated me the remote I would find in between the bed and the wall. I was told to turn her in but I don't want to get people fired. Over all activities there was not enough to do. I found myself watching tv a lot. Most activities were in the atrium and no seating, if you go all the way up to 8th floor to look down you can't see but a quarter of the floor. For free I would do the cruise again but If I was a paying customer I would not do it. Thank you Read Less
Vision of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 3.0 4.2

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