Vision of the Seas - Alaska: Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by berd0625
Overall Member Rating
Vision of the Seas - Alaska
My daughter, 16, and I had a wonderful time. We flew out of CT the night before and stayed in Seattle at the Red Lion South. Not my favorite place, they originally put us on the 2nd floor and they have no elevator, and we had lots of luggage. I sent my daughter to the room with the biggest piece, and she came back and told me there was no bed! After I made sure it wasnt April Fools, I went to the front desk and firmly requested a room on the 1st floor with a BED! Request granted.
We left for Terminal 30 around 11:30 by town car and were there before noon, and in the Windjammer by 12:30. This was the easiest embarkation weve had yet, very quick and organized. Just make sure you go up the right ramp when boarding, I was half way to HAL before I realized my mistake. We ate and went to our cabin at 1 pm, and our luggage was already there! We were in outside cabin 4536, right next to the stairs and elevator, and down the hall from the More dining room. Great location. Our room steward was Ornelio, and he was the best ever! He always worked around our schedule, and even let us keep our bags in the cabin until 9 am before disembarking. He got an extra tip and a very nice write up.
We left Seattle on deck 10 forward, and the views of Mt Rainier and Mt Baker were fantastic. The Meet and Mingle was Saturday at 12:15, and probably one of the better attended ones Ive been to. Its so nice to meet people early on that you see and talk to the rest of the cruise. The Gold C&A gift was a small Vision tote bag.
This was the first cruise that we had late dinner, and it was an excellent choice. We would be in the dining room at 9 pm and the sun was shining like it was noon! We were at table 164, and our original table of 10 ended up being a table of 6. We sat with a couple and their 2 teens, so my daughter and I both had good company. The menu was not much different than other cruises Ive been on, although the menu referenced fresh Alaska Salmon instead of Norwegian Salmon you see in the Caribbean. We are not food critics, so I would say the dinner in the dining room was more than adequate, and sometimes excellent. I love the scallops and risotto appetizer they serve on Italian night, I ordered 2. My daughter had steak several times and said it was very good. I stuck with mostly fish and was very pleased. Our waiter was Levison, he was not very jovial but took good care of us. Our assistant waiter was much more personable. We ate all of our other meals in the Windjammer, which was standard buffet fare. Because we had late dinner, we usually went to the WJ for tea, which was really a smaller version of lunch. You will never go hungry on a cruise. My daughter had some treats from Cafe Lattitudes as well. Formal nights were not as formal as Ive seen on other cruises, and casual nights were very casual.
We had absolutely gorgeous weather. Every day was sunny and in the mid to upper 70s, except for the day we cruised the inside passage, which was cloudy and in the low 60s. We brought a whole bag of sweatshirts, heavy shoes, fleece, etc and never opened it. I wore my Crocs all week. People were in the outdoor pool every day. I spent an hour by the pool soaking in the sun and drinking a cold one in Juneau myself.
We did not attend any of the shows this cruise, and only played bingo once. However I did meet Keith Williams the cruise director out on deck the first day, and he remembered me and was very friendly all week. My daughter attended a number of the kids activities, and oftentimes they would just end up hanging out and playing cards. She liked Voyager class better as there are more places to hang out. I spent most of my spare time in the casino; if anyone else was there I was the lady playing 3 card poker all week. I ended up $600 ahead, even though I was up to almost $1000 at one point. Lots of big, big slot ($2k-$6k) winners the first 2 days, and the inside passage day.
We booked all our excursions though the ship this time, although you can certainly book locally for a lot less.
In Juneau we went river rafting down the Mendenhall River. It was beautiful, we had great weather, and I got a sunburn. After that we went to Mendenhall Glacier, I could have stayed there several hours just taking in the beauty, but they only gave us an hour on the ship sponsored bus, Im not sure why. It was so nice out people were swimming in Glacier Lake!
In Skagway we went dog sledding. This was not on a glacier, but on a wheeled cart on a dirt path. The ride itself was pretty short, but we had an interesting talk afterwards by of the mushers, and then a good amount of time with the puppies! The ride there and back was very entertaining, and we had a photo stop or 2. We also took the White Pass Train Midnight Run, and the only word I can use to describe everything was majestic. I would have liked to have gotten off, but that wasnt offered on this excursion. We were still back in time for dinner.
In Icy Strait we went on the whale watch, and again everything was awesome. We saw about 12-15 whales, lots of sea lions, and bald eagles. We had one whale come right up under the boat, and another breach. My favorite picture is of a sea lion with fish in its mouth and the eagles swooping in trying to steal it!
In Victoria we did not book anything in advance. We took the bus into town and went to the Wax Museum, which was great fun. We also had proper tea at a local tea room, it was only about $25 for 2. Victoria is a beautiful city with lots to see within walking distance.
On Friday we left the ship at about 9:30 and were at our hotel by 10:15. We stayed at the Sleep Inn SeaTac, which I highly recommend. We stayed in Seattle until Sunday, and went to the Market, the SciFi Museum and Experience Music Project, and the Space Needle. Another great city to visit.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Alaska cruise, and hope to return someday. The only thing I wish we were able to do was cruise up to the glaciers, maybe next time! Less
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