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My family and I sailed out of Galveston, Texas. This was the first cruise for everyone in our party. Parking at the port was relatively cheap and embarkation was very smooth. My in-laws are from China and they were pleasantly surprised to be greeted in Mandarin when coming on-board and to find that we had a Chinese server in the Windjammer at lunch. The interior cabins we booked were snug but very clean and had ample storage. Our cabin attendants were very friendly, attentive, and thorough. Every part of the ship was cleaner than most nice hotels I've stayed at. The Royal Caribbean app was great for seeing all the events and booking dining reservations. However, it couldn't fully replace the Cruise Compass, which provided much more detail and was delivered to our cabin every day during turndown service. We didn't use any of the specialty dining options onboard, but the food and service in the main dining room was excellent. The food at the Windjammer buffet was, obviously, not as good but still great. Service in the Windjammer was far more attentive than I would expect from a buffet and, as previously mentioned, the staff members there went out of their way to make my Chinese in-laws feel comfortable and welcome. The two other food outlets we used, Café Latte-tudes in the Centrum and the Park Café in the Centrum were fine for snacks and, most importantly, open late. My five-year old daughter loved going to Adventure Ocean in particular, but staff throughout the ship lavished her with attention. The arcade was, unfortunately, the only blemish on the ship, with only a handful of expensive, not-particularly fun machines, of which only half worked. We didn't get off the ship in Progreso at all, due to the daunting 4-mile-long pier, and elected to explore Cozumel on our own. Perhaps it was a mistake not to sign up for a shore excursion, because we found the port area of Cozumel to be an utterly charmless tourist trap of shops and chain restaurants. The cruise director's staff onboard was great, and all the events in the Centrum such as the Parade of Nations, Thriller performance, and crew disco extravaganza were a lot of fun to watch. We skipped the Broadway-style productions, but the comedian and variety act they had in the theater were both fun shows. There was a married-couple game show in the theater one night that I found cringe-worthy but my wife thought was hilarious. Disembarkation was, unfortunately, a bit of a mess. We were encouraged to not check our bags so we could be "among the first" to disembark, but the reality was that it seemed everyone else received the same advice. The line for just our "first group" to disembark stretched all the way from the theater (or assigned assembly point), through the casino, and three times around the Centrum. Line cutting was rampant and tempers flared. Luckily, once the line started moving, it went relatively quickly. Customs was a breeze, but there were very aggressive state of Texas revenue officers beyond interrogating people about tobacco and alcohol. I've reentered the United States at a variety of ports-of-entry and never seen anything like that! So the is your duty free cigarettes and alcohol may not actually a good deal: my father-in-law had to pay $1.50/pack on cigarettes he'd bought in Cozumel. In summary: great experience overall, but it's the ship's crew that was really exceptional. I look forward to taking another cruise with my family, and will definitely choose Royal Caribbean.

Fantastic Family Cruise

Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by DesVoeux

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My family and I sailed out of Galveston, Texas. This was the first cruise for everyone in our party. Parking at the port was relatively cheap and embarkation was very smooth. My in-laws are from China and they were pleasantly surprised to be greeted in Mandarin when coming on-board and to find that we had a Chinese server in the Windjammer at lunch.

The interior cabins we booked were snug but very clean and had ample storage. Our cabin attendants were very friendly, attentive, and thorough. Every part of the ship was cleaner than most nice hotels I've stayed at.

The Royal Caribbean app was great for seeing all the events and booking dining reservations. However, it couldn't fully replace the Cruise Compass, which provided much more detail and was delivered to our cabin every day during turndown service.

We didn't use any of the specialty dining options onboard, but the food and service in the main dining room was excellent. The food at the Windjammer buffet was, obviously, not as good but still great. Service in the Windjammer was far more attentive than I would expect from a buffet and, as previously mentioned, the staff members there went out of their way to make my Chinese in-laws feel comfortable and welcome. The two other food outlets we used, Café Latte-tudes in the Centrum and the Park Café in the Centrum were fine for snacks and, most importantly, open late.

My five-year old daughter loved going to Adventure Ocean in particular, but staff throughout the ship lavished her with attention. The arcade was, unfortunately, the only blemish on the ship, with only a handful of expensive, not-particularly fun machines, of which only half worked.

We didn't get off the ship in Progreso at all, due to the daunting 4-mile-long pier, and elected to explore Cozumel on our own. Perhaps it was a mistake not to sign up for a shore excursion, because we found the port area of Cozumel to be an utterly charmless tourist trap of shops and chain restaurants.

The cruise director's staff onboard was great, and all the events in the Centrum such as the Parade of Nations, Thriller performance, and crew disco extravaganza were a lot of fun to watch. We skipped the Broadway-style productions, but the comedian and variety act they had in the theater were both fun shows. There was a married-couple game show in the theater one night that I found cringe-worthy but my wife thought was hilarious.

Disembarkation was, unfortunately, a bit of a mess. We were encouraged to not check our bags so we could be "among the first" to disembark, but the reality was that it seemed everyone else received the same advice. The line for just our "first group" to disembark stretched all the way from the theater (or assigned assembly point), through the casino, and three times around the Centrum. Line cutting was rampant and tempers flared. Luckily, once the line started moving, it went relatively quickly. Customs was a breeze, but there were very aggressive state of Texas revenue officers beyond interrogating people about tobacco and alcohol. I've reentered the United States at a variety of ports-of-entry and never seen anything like that! So the is your duty free cigarettes and alcohol may not actually a good deal: my father-in-law had to pay $1.50/pack on cigarettes he'd bought in Cozumel.

In summary: great experience overall, but it's the ship's crew that was really exceptional. I look forward to taking another cruise with my family, and will definitely choose Royal Caribbean.
DesVoeux’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Ages 3 to 6
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 3V 2031
The cabin was small but only the bathroom felt *too* small. Beds and pillows were comfortable. A surprising amount of storage. The cabin attendant we had was outstanding; he kept everything *very* clean and seemed to instantly know when we put the "service requested" sign on the door.
Deck 8 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Suite Cabins