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Firstly, a bit of context to the review: Wife and I are in our early 50's and this was our 14th cruise, half with R.C. and others mainly with Princess and Oceania. The age group of this cruise was one of the most varied we have experienced with few children but plenty of 20's and 30's along with the majority of retired passengers.Good mix of nationalities. We had been to Barcelona about 12 years ago for a few nights on a city break and this time spent 4 nights in Barcelona pre-cruise visiting all the main sites. Took the train out to Montserrat for the day with the cable car up and down the mountain, well worth a trip. Also booked tickets in advance for skip the line for the inside of the Sagrada Familia. Well worth a visit if you have time. Had good weather so walked to most of the sights to enjoy the atmosphere of the city. Arrived at the ship around 1230 and got on within 30 minutes. Bought the pack of 6 1.5l bottles of water at the port shop, like many others, and saved a lot of money on the cruise with the cost of bottled water onboard. Took 2 bottles of red wine for the meals. Ship may be getting old but is kept in good condition with little signs of wear and tear. We love the vision size of ship, shame R.C. have no plans to replace them. Approx. 2000 is a good number when getting off at small ports or tendering. We had any time dining, which works well for us, and the food in the main dining room was good but used to be better. Like most others we noticed the decline in the cuts of meat being used and the lack of side dishes {although you can ask for extra to be brought}. Bought the 5 night speciality dining package during one of the sales after booking the cruise so went to Chops 3 times {Excellent} Izumi {Very good} and Giovanni's Table {good}. Used the windjammer for a few breakfasts and the occasional lunch and there was plenty of choice. Seemed to be less staff clearing tables and restocking the buffet. Food could have been warmed at times. Like to use the Park Cafe for something quick, especially with the early starts on this cruise! Good choice of sandwiches and fruit cups. Tea/coffee/juice all day. Cookies also! Tried to get the Diamond lounge concierge to set up breakfast earlier as 8am was too late for many of the port days but no flexibility allowed apparently! A lot of wasted food. Entertainment was poorer than before, possibly they realised most people would be too tired after long days in port to bother with a show, but a couple of decent headliners and a couple of in house cast shows were the highlights. Audience participation events seem to be getting re-classed as main shows, and whilst they are fun and entertaining, they are not a replacement for professional acts and should not be used as such. Just my opinion. All crew on board were friendly and polite and seemed to be part of a happy team. Captain Merek was a character, participating in numerous events and being more visible than any previous Captain we have known. Especially enjoyed his midday updates. We normally book with local operators for excursions as you get a better price and service than the large groups but only booked one such excursion on this cruise due to the locations involved: Villefranche/Nice- My wife lived there for a year when at university {30 odd years ago!} and we caught up with some old friends who acted as tour guides for the area. Both places were worth a few hours to see properly. Livorno- Took the R.C. train transfer to Florence and did the city on our own as had been before. Booked the Duomo tower climb in advance and well worth it as queue was 2-3 hrs long. Civitavecchia- Again, took the R.C. train transfer to Rome and walked the highlights on our own with map in hand. Got to see much more at our own speed than a large tour. Salerno- Booked with a local operator for transport and driver. Took us to all the main sights on the Amalfi coast and had approx 1.5 hours in each to explore on our own before returning to the ship. Venice- 4th time here so did everything on our own. Loved the sail in and out. Got to be one of the best for a cruise and not to be missed! Ravenna- Took the R.C. bus transfer to Bologna and had day on our own. Not as touristy as other Italian cities and plenty to see. Kotor- Enjoyed the sail in/out of the fjord to this medieval town and spent the day on our own exploring and climbing up to the old fortress above the town for great photos. Like many, we picked this cruise for the many great ports of call covered in the 12 nights with the icing on the cake being the overnight in Venice. We were not disappointed and would happily do this cruise again in a few years, although you need a holiday after it to recover!

Good base for a port intensive Med cruise

Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by TRUEBLUE66

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Firstly, a bit of context to the review: Wife and I are in our early 50's and this was our 14th cruise, half with R.C. and others mainly with Princess and Oceania. The age group of this cruise was one of the most varied we have experienced with few children but plenty of 20's and 30's along with the majority of retired passengers.Good mix of nationalities.

We had been to Barcelona about 12 years ago for a few nights on a city break and this time spent 4 nights in Barcelona pre-cruise visiting all the main sites. Took the train out to Montserrat for the day with the cable car up and down the mountain, well worth a trip. Also booked tickets in advance for skip the line for the inside of the Sagrada Familia. Well worth a visit if you have time. Had good weather so walked to most of the sights to enjoy the atmosphere of the city.

Arrived at the ship around 1230 and got on within 30 minutes. Bought the pack of 6 1.5l bottles of water at the port shop, like many others, and saved a lot of money on the cruise with the cost of bottled water onboard. Took 2 bottles of red wine for the meals.

Ship may be getting old but is kept in good condition with little signs of wear and tear. We love the vision size of ship, shame R.C. have no plans to replace them. Approx. 2000 is a good number when getting off at small ports or tendering.

We had any time dining, which works well for us, and the food in the main dining room was good but used to be better. Like most others we noticed the decline in the cuts of meat being used and the lack of side dishes {although you can ask for extra to be brought}.

Bought the 5 night speciality dining package during one of the sales after booking the cruise so went to Chops 3 times {Excellent} Izumi {Very good} and Giovanni's Table {good}.

Used the windjammer for a few breakfasts and the occasional lunch and there was plenty of choice. Seemed to be less staff clearing tables and restocking the buffet. Food could have been warmed at times.

Like to use the Park Cafe for something quick, especially with the early starts on this cruise! Good choice of sandwiches and fruit cups. Tea/coffee/juice all day. Cookies also!

Tried to get the Diamond lounge concierge to set up breakfast earlier as 8am was too late for many of the port days but no flexibility allowed apparently! A lot of wasted food.

Entertainment was poorer than before, possibly they realised most people would be too tired after long days in port to bother with a show, but a couple of decent headliners and a couple of in house cast shows were the highlights.

Audience participation events seem to be getting re-classed as main shows, and whilst they are fun and entertaining, they are not a replacement for professional acts and should not be used as such. Just my opinion.

All crew on board were friendly and polite and seemed to be part of a happy team. Captain Merek was a character, participating in numerous events and being more visible than any previous Captain we have known. Especially enjoyed his midday updates.

We normally book with local operators for excursions as you get a better price and service than the large groups but only booked one such excursion on this cruise due to the locations involved:

Villefranche/Nice-

My wife lived there for a year when at university {30 odd years ago!} and we caught up with some old friends who acted as tour guides for the area. Both places were worth a few hours to see properly.

Livorno- Took the R.C. train transfer to Florence and did the city on our own as had been before. Booked the Duomo tower climb in advance and well worth it as queue was 2-3 hrs long.

Civitavecchia- Again, took the R.C. train transfer to Rome and walked the highlights on our own with map in hand. Got to see much more at our own speed than a large tour.

Salerno- Booked with a local operator for transport and driver. Took us to all the main sights on the Amalfi coast and had approx 1.5 hours in each to explore on our own before returning to the ship.

Venice- 4th time here so did everything on our own. Loved the sail in and out. Got to be one of the best for a cruise and not to be missed!

Ravenna- Took the R.C. bus transfer to Bologna and had day on our own. Not as touristy as other Italian cities and plenty to see.

Kotor- Enjoyed the sail in/out of the fjord to this medieval town and spent the day on our own exploring and climbing up to the old fortress above the town for great photos.

Like many, we picked this cruise for the many great ports of call covered in the 12 nights with the icing on the cake being the overnight in Venice. We were not disappointed and would happily do this cruise again in a few years, although you need a holiday after it to recover!
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Cabin Review

Junior Suite
Cabin J2 8036
Located port side mid ship. Good size, quiet, clean, large balcony. Lots of cupboard space. Wife spent many hours soaking in the bath after long port days! Decor could maybe do with a freshen up but nothing that stopped us enjoying the room.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Barcelona
    Forgot how good Barcelona was from 12 years previous. Walked and walked to see many great sights. Sagrada Familia a must even if not into churches. Park Guell is worth an hour or two. Took the train to Montserrat on our own as it goes regularly from Placa Espanya rail station and took the cable car up and down. Train takes about an hour. Combi-ticket for both of us was about 70 Euros.
    View All 2,207 Barcelona Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Florence (Livorno)
    Basically a bus to the station and a comfortable 1 hour train journey to the centre of Florence arranged by R.C.I. so takes the hassle and worry out of transfers. 4/5 hours to explore on your own and similar return journey. Suggest you book any places you want to visit in advance, preferably skip the line passes, because even in May the queues were long without them. {2-3 hours waiting!} Lots to see.
    View All 12,792 Florence (Livorno) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Kotor
    First time here and the sail in was breathtaking! Again excellent weather which helped but approx 2 hours of slow sailing through the fjord to get to the medieval town. Strolled around the cobbled streets and narrow alleyways before doing the climb up to the ruined fortress above the town for excellent views. The walk is hard going as our cruise director found out! { Never seen someone sweat that much!}
    View All 705 Kotor Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Ravenna (Bologna)
    Took the R.C. bus transfer for 1 1/4 hrs to Bologna and spent several hours doing the main sights. Not set up for tourists like other cities which was a nice change and felt more like where the locals live and work if that makes sense. Plenty to see for a few hours.
    View All 31 Ravenna (Bologna) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Rome / Private Train
    Bus to train station and quaint vintage train only for cruise passengers and no other stops along the way to Rome station about a 10 min walk from the Vatican. Again left it to R.C. to take the stress out of transfers and enjoyed 8/9 hours exploring the city on our own.
    View All 33 Rome / Private Train Reviews
  • Salerno
    Booked a private tour with local company of comfy vehicle and driver. Stopped where we wanted and for how long we wanted at all the main sights. Spent time in villages of Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Excellent weather and scenery and had been on the bucket list!
    View All 38 Salerno Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Venice
    Just love this place! 4th time here and third doing a cruise. So easy to do on your own with the ship docking on the Island, 10/15 min walk from port and your in the heart of the action.
    Best advice given to us is get lost! The back streets and alleyways are a maze but you will eventually find your way to a landmark or pretty square. Water bus is the best/cheapest mode of transport as a 24 hour ticket covers the Islands or Murano and Burano as well.
    Fantastic weather.
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  • Villefranche
    Nice has plenty of character and can easily be covered in a few hours. Villefranche is a pretty village that can be explored in a short time walking through the narrow alleyways.
    Save your money for the big ports and do this place yourself as it has excellent public transport to nearby Nice and Monaco.
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