Vision of the Seas: Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by Vero Beach Louise

Vision of the Seas 3
Vero Beach Louise
Member Since 2005
103 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Vision of the Seas

Sail Date: December 2012
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Our first cruise with RCCL. We decided to try a December cruise with RCCL based on the itinerary offered. The Vision is a lovely ship and considering that it's due for renovation, is in very good shape. The public rooms are very attractive and were beautifully decorated for the holidays.

Our personal philosophy is that any vacation is what one makes of it, but there was just something off about the whole cruise.

I have never boarded a ship where I was welcomed aboard and not escorted (or at least directed) to my cabin. Nor have I ever been made to feel like I was imposing on the staff when I did ask for direction. My first view of the interior of the ship was a discarded cup and glass sitting on a pillar next to the elevator just as one comes aboard. The same cup and glass were still there a few hours later as we were exploring the ship. Not an auspicious beginning to a cruise.

We did not receive invitations for the meet and greet (yes, we did sign More up) nor did we get the "December Celebration" that others received. We were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary on the 22nd.

Our cabin steward was attentive, as expected, and the cabin was kept as neat and clean as possible considering the occupants dragged along personal snorkel and dive gear. Closet space was adequate but not spacious. The bed was on the low side for storing luggage underneath. The only electric outlet we could find in the whole cabin was one located at the vanity. The entry to the cabin was so narrow that to open the door and hold it open for room service was impossible. There was a small love seat and coffee table, but to use both pieces took up any maneuvering space available in the cabin. There was no refrigerator and beverages took up more than ½ the vanity surface (we had them removed from the cabin).

Drinks that are normally included with the cruise (ice tea and lemonade) were only available in the Windjammer from lunch thru snack time) and ice tea was available at dinner in the formal dining room. There was only fruit punch (ugh) available in the solarium and nothing available poolside except alcoholic beverages at the bar. The Solarium pool was empty during the whole cruise.

Several excursions started late morning (and didn't include lunch) and didn't return to the pier until all aboard. Some excursions that were on land offered opportunity to grab a bite along the way, but others did not. By the time one walked the pier and put personal belongings in one's cabin, it was a rush to get to the Windjammer before 5 pm to get something to tide us over until dinner. As my husband was selecting some food from the buffet, the staff began to pick up tongs and food in front of us. At about 5:15, while we were still eating what food we were able to get, a staff member came to us and asked us to leave so they could get ready for dinner service. This happened to us twice. My husband filed a complaint with customer service. Twice we were contacted about our complaint, once early in the am while getting ready for an excursion and the second time just prior to dinner when we were walking out the cabin door. Purposeful timing? No additional effort was made by customer service to resolve this complaint.

Formal dining was enjoyable in spite of some serious shortcomings. The dining room is beautiful and our wait staff was excellent, but there were a couple of evenings when even I did not find anything on the menu that appealed to me. I had to send a fish dinner back as it was so odiferous that I was concerned about food poisoning from it. When my husband requested a regular garden salad (not on the menu) he could not get it. The wine selection was a small paper pamphlet that was handed to us by the wait assistant. There is no Sommelier to assist with selection. On the plus side, we met some people on our snorkel trip in St. Croix who chose to join our table (we seemed to have 4 spaces) and the wait staff and maitre'd made the accommodation very gracefully. As a result, our dinner time was always a delight regardless of the menu.

A shopping raffle in St. Kitts was not held because not enough people showed up. A bottle of wine was sent to one of our table mates who complained.

Throughout the whole cruise it appeared that if staff was assigned to do a task, they did it, but if it wasn't their assigned job, they didn't do it.

When settling our bill, my husband split our on board charges between a credit card and our debit card. The split charges were processed properly once and then the total amount was charged to our debit card as well. This was discovered on Friday before the New Years weekend. Hope we got it straightened out.

We had the feeling that the shortcomings were more a matter of company policy than staff. I don't know if we'll cruise with them again. Less

Published 12/31/12

Cabin review: F3082 Large Ocean View Stateroom

This cabin was a disappointment in that it was less roomy than expected and the overhead noise was very distracting, especially at night when trying to sleep. It sounded as if furniture was being moved every evening and a lot of partying activities were held in the Centrum which was located directly above this cabin. I don't recall ever experiencing such a noisy environment.

Read All Large Ocean View Stateroom (F) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We snorkeled from the Wadadli Cats Catamaran. Again, staff was very good and every effort was made to accommodate all levels of ability. The boat is lovely and very roomy and staff were in the water feeding fish at the reef so that everyone at least saw some pretty fish. Again, the reef has a lot of bleaching and silt, but is showing signs of recovery. We made a stop at a beach where vendors were selling jewelry, clothing, and island paintings. The paintings were quite nice, but if you wanted to be on a lounge chair it cost $5. We went back on board the boat. The rum punch on the way back to the ship was more rum than punch and flowed very freely. This was a very fun trip and the staff was great. Would recommend it to everyone.
Read 1192 Antigua Reviews

We left the ship early as my husbands meter died when he tried to check his sugar levels this morning. Fortunately, there was a pharmacy not far from the pier. Not only did they have a selection of meters available, but were quite reasonable in price. The snorkeling excursion we took here was OK. As experienced snorkel and dive folks, it left a lot to be desired, but for the newbies, it was pretty good. The coral reef itself has suffered severe bleaching and silting. The expectation for the trip was inflated. This marine park should be allowed to recover without all the inexperienced snorkelers. It was disappointing considering the amout of money it cost. Although we loved getting in the water at the first stop, we kind of wished we had taken an island tour instead.

Island tour

We and another couple hired Sweet P to give us a tour of the island and to take us to white house beach where we were told the snorkeling was very good. She took us where we wanted to go, stayed with us and our belongings while we snorkeled for over 1 1/2 hrs then took us around the whole island while explaining the history and location of the island. She showed us the volcanic flow, the black sand beach, all the beautiful churches and remaining sugar plantation structures and on to the Batik Factory. It was a wonderful day and we all felt that we had received good value for our money.


White House Beach is a pretty nice snorkel. There is some wreckage scattered near to shore and further out if you care to swim that far. A fair amount of different sea life to be seen. All in all, a very pleasant place.

Having been to St Martin previously, we thoroughly enjoy the island and its peoples. With 6 ships in port at the same time, we chose to grab a cab and head over to Marigot to have some crepes for lunch. There are so many things to do in St. Martin if you are physically fit. Sailing the America's Cup ships is one of my favorites, as well as climbing the old slave trail at Loterie Farm and watching the incoming planes at Maho. Orient beach is probably the most beautiful beach I have ever seen.

Compare Prices on Vision of the Seas Eastern Caribbean Cruises

Read more Vision of the Seas cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Vision of the Seas Review >>

Compare Prices on Vision of the Seas Eastern Caribbean Cruises

Vero Beach Louise
Member Since 2005
103 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Vision of the Seas deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Vision of the Seas 68% Loved It

14 Night Southern Caribbean Cruise
See all Vision of the Seas Deals >>