Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by pauline morgan
- Sail Date: April 2010
- Destination: Transatlantic
Food: Very poor. The meat was of dubious quality, in the Windjammer we were served a lot of brisket, and the menu was geared towards Brazilian tastes. Pre cruise we were given a dining time choice and chose 8.45, the actual dining time turned out to be 9.30, with us leaving the dining room after dessert at about 11pm, much too late for comfort. Even after days at sea we were told that a certain item was not available - most bizarre, did the chef not know what was in his store? Also on a few occasions we ordered an item to find it had been substituted and were given no explanation or apology. Perhaps they didn't think we'd know the difference between prawns ans clams, or a greek salad with feta cheese and a cheddar cheese salad!! On 3 occasions our table was given a very dirty glass. They even ran out of cheese for the cheese plate. The Windjammer food varied between poor and mediocre and had little variety, how often can they offer beef and olive casserole? Seats were highly prized on the many sea days. Around 3pm a nice pudding was served along with scones. Any food served on deck was accompanied by plastic cutlery!!
Entertainment: We had been disappointed to realise that this was a Brazilian cruise with maybe 150 English speaking guests. Had I realised that English would not be the 1sr language I would have gone with Costa or MSC where English is liberally translated. The shows were mainly orientated towards Brazilian tastes. At all entertainment the staff spoke at length in to the Brazilians and we got a 20 second synopsis and in some cases, as in the smaller venues when say 'Name that Tune' was held, we were totally ignored. This was downright rude and inconsiderate. There was very little music in the bars, one night we were not interested in the show as it catered for the Brazilians and trawled the bars looking for an alternative, there was absolutely no entertainment anywhere else on the ship. There were no gala evenings, no midnight buffet, no chocolate buffet, no ice carvings, no tit bits served in lounges around midnight.
Ship: Very attractive, bright areas, plenty of bars and nice seating areas. Outside decks were well laid out and the solarium was great for cooler days.
Cabins: I had an inside and then an outside cabin and was very happy with both. A decent size with good pillows and lighting. Some cosmetic amenities might have been welcome. My first steward was excellent, inconspicuous and highly efficient, the second one less so. Minor problems such as with the TV were efficiently handled by Guest Services.
Hygiene: Going into the Windjammer hand sanitation was strictly monitored but not in the MDR. The ship seemed clean but I saw what seemed to be faeces on the wall of the ladies toilet 2 days in a row and reported it to guest services, 2 days later I wrote to the cruise director and after another 2 days it was removed!! Disgusting!! Is it any wonder this ship was not allowed to dock at Santos earlier in the year because of Norovirus!!
Disembarkation: We were to disembark in Lisbon on 19 April in the midst of the volcanic ash crisis. Many Brits asked at guest services if we would be afforded any assistance and were told it was not their problem. After phoning Miami and been told help would be given the ship staff refused to assist us. The 36 Brits arranged a meeting and 4 crew members were sent to tell us that we were displaying mutinous behavior and convening a riot!!! Honestly if you had seen the age group involved!! No help was given to people who had been at sea for days, had no 'live' information and were frightened about what lay ahead. That evening they agreed to let us sail on a daily rate (with ' as small amount of tax') to pick up ferries in France and elsewhere. We were told we had until 7pm the next evening to decide as the ship would not be leaving until 9pm. We cancelled our Lisbon hotels deciding to avail of this. Next morning they put up the prices by 25% and were charging $164 taxes and fees. Disgraceful again!! We were told to recheck in at 10 am and this was put back until most people got checking in at 12pm. After trying to argue the unfairness of increasing the cost when passengers were at their most vulnerable we were left with no option but to rebook. One diamond member was told by staff that if he did not rebook immediately he would call port side security to escort him off the ship. The ship sailed that afternoon at 5pm (we were not informed of this and just by luck were on board) with 650 passengers on board, the captain said they had expected 1900 and 36 children. Lots of cabins were vacant and RCI had received full fare for all those who didn't turn up plus the extra for those who remained onboard. What a rip off!!! We were told to leave the ship at midday and were given no help with luggage or information on where the ferry terminal at Le Harve was located. 18 of us had to haul our luggage approximately 1 mile, 1 man was aged 71 and his 69 year old wife had been to the doctor 2 days before with pneumonia. We were then left to wait outside the terminal at the side of the road until we could book in at 5pm. Thompson cruises, the British line put their cruise guests with travel issue getting home to UK and Europe up in a 5 star hotel and provided representatives several times a day to update their customers on the travel situation. This puts RCI to shame. A terrible time and a disgrace to cruising. I will never cruise with RCI again.
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