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We left San Juan on Jan 18th for a seven day Eastern Caribbean tour. It included Tortola, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia and Dominican Republic. We did excursions in Antigua, Barbados and St. Lucia. We had a beach break excursion booked for Tortola but it was cancelled on account of the high waves. Antigua was also a beach break, it went ahead but again, the waves were much too high to make it worthwhile. Our excursion in Barbados was the best of the bunch, easily. It was a snorkel trip that included lunch and an open bar not he beach. Fantastic value and fortunately the ocean and the weather behaved. It was 27 Celsius and the ocean was just wavy enough to make it fun but more than safe for our two year old to play in alongside us. We arrived early to embark, right at 1000 even though our embarkation time was later in the afternoon. This worked just fine, and it was nice to be on the ship so early. The process to get on took only about 30 minutes or so. Disembarking was also quick and relatively easy. They gave you tags for your luggage the day before, you put them outside your room and they picked them up and took them downstairs throughout the night. In the morning your disembarkation time corresponded with the # on your luggage tag. This was convenient since you could be sure your luggage would be out there waiting for you. My only feedback for RC here, is to do with their airport transfer shuttle. We paid for this from the ship but after collecting our luggage outside the ship it was not clear at all where we needed to go to catch this. It was only after asking a few different people that we understood where to stand in line. It would be helpful to have a big sign hanging from the shelter so that people knew where to go. I don’t know how much a taxi / Uber would have cost, but the transfer was 53.95 USD on a large bus with many other people. Generally that was fine apart from what I mentioned above. The ship itself was a bit underwhelming as far as activities and amenities go. There was no waterslides, skating rink, zip lines etc. It did have two pools and a few small spa tubs adjacent to the pools. We were quite disappointed though as our toddler wasn’t yet potty trained so he wasn’t allowed in any of the pools. There was no toddler splash pad or similar facility available. For entertainment there was a very nice theatre that spanned two decks. We saw a comedian / magician there who was a bit amateurish compared to a professional Vegas show but it was entertaining none the less. There was also a very entertaining program in the main centrum area of the ship each evening, live music and the like. There was a few bars around the ship all with separate entertainment. Our favourite was the schooner bar which had a grand piano with a fellow playing and singing nice chill music for us while we sipped our drinks and stared out the window as we chugged along. We stayed in a panoramic ocean view cabin, it was adequate, if a bit small for the two of us and our toddler. My wife enjoys travelling heavy so it was a constant chore to try and keep everything stored properly. The shower had very good pressure though and was quite hot, both important to me. The sound proofing was amazing. Our room was right next to the centrum area, where there was a party happening when we went to bed every evening and presumably lasted late into the night. Even though in the hallway it was so loud you couldn’t speak to a person right next to you without yelling, with our door shut it was a barely audible murmur. When they closed the extra set of doors at quiet time ( I think that was 2100?) that separated the hallway from the centrum, you couldn’t hear it at all.... really amazing, lots of big budget fancy hotels could learn something there. So, the reason I’m giving this a 5 star review is simply because of the folks that run the ship. They seem to be, by my estimation, some of the most professional, kind and happy people in the service industry. From the moment we boarded every member of the crew was extremely helpful and friendly. Our waiters Al and Lorianno, ensured that our toddler had a bowl of fruit sliced to my wife’s exact specifications as well as a glass of lactose free milk (intolerance) as soon as we sat down. They were really very interactive and conversational with us, by the end of the cruise they really didn’t feel like strangers. Also, speaking of my son, so many members of the crew stopped to coo over our son and interact with him throughout the voyage, a great many of them remembered his name along the way. Part way through the trip we had the pleasure of getting toured around the ship’s galley by the head waiter Hans, what a cool guy. He was very knowledgeable and witty. This cost is 69 USD each and included a special lunch and supper and one of the specialty restaurants, Giovanni’s table; well worth it. Also excellent was the tot/baby area of the Adventure Ocean child care service. We used them twice, once for an hour and once for four hours. Both times our son seemed to love it. The ladies that took care of him seemed very happy and according to their posted bios were also very well educated. We will definitely use this service again in the future. The food was a high point as well. The options include the Windjammer all day buffet and the main dining room. We ate at the Windjammer most mornings and at the main dining room each evening at 6. The main dining room was more of a time investment (at least 90 minutes) but was always well worth the wait. My favourites included the French Onion Soup, Roast Chicken, and lamb. On the last night I sprung for the fillet minion which was 25% off it’s usual 16.95 up charge. The Windjammer food was quite good, lots of variety and well prepared. The dining room food though was excellent, as good as I’ve ever had anywhere. I think that my bottom line is that this was a very good experience. My only real concern was that the boat wasn’t exactly equipped with a toddler in mind. I probably wouldn’t have chosen it for that reason, but it was booked by my wife’s grandparents who were with us. With that said, our toddler will soon be potty trained so we would definitely go back.

Best Service I’ve every had anywhere, bar none.

Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by ThermalTweaker

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We left San Juan on Jan 18th for a seven day Eastern Caribbean tour. It included Tortola, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia and Dominican Republic. We did excursions in Antigua, Barbados and St. Lucia. We had a beach break excursion booked for Tortola but it was cancelled on account of the high waves. Antigua was also a beach break, it went ahead but again, the waves were much too high to make it worthwhile. Our excursion in Barbados was the best of the bunch, easily. It was a snorkel trip that included lunch and an open bar not he beach. Fantastic value and fortunately the ocean and the weather behaved. It was 27 Celsius and the ocean was just wavy enough to make it fun but more than safe for our two year old to play in alongside us.

We arrived early to embark, right at 1000 even though our embarkation time was later in the afternoon. This worked just fine, and it was nice to be on the ship so early. The process to get on took only about 30 minutes or so. Disembarking was also quick and relatively easy. They gave you tags for your luggage the day before, you put them outside your room and they picked them up and took them downstairs throughout the night. In the morning your disembarkation time corresponded with the # on your luggage tag. This was convenient since you could be sure your luggage would be out there waiting for you. My only feedback for RC here, is to do with their airport transfer shuttle. We paid for this from the ship but after collecting our luggage outside the ship it was not clear at all where we needed to go to catch this. It was only after asking a few different people that we understood where to stand in line. It would be helpful to have a big sign hanging from the shelter so that people knew where to go. I don’t know how much a taxi / Uber would have cost, but the transfer was 53.95 USD on a large bus with many other people. Generally that was fine apart from what I mentioned above.

The ship itself was a bit underwhelming as far as activities and amenities go. There was no waterslides, skating rink, zip lines etc. It did have two pools and a few small spa tubs adjacent to the pools. We were quite disappointed though as our toddler wasn’t yet potty trained so he wasn’t allowed in any of the pools. There was no toddler splash pad or similar facility available. For entertainment there was a very nice theatre that spanned two decks. We saw a comedian / magician there who was a bit amateurish compared to a professional Vegas show but it was entertaining none the less. There was also a very entertaining program in the main centrum area of the ship each evening, live music and the like. There was a few bars around the ship all with separate entertainment. Our favourite was the schooner bar which had a grand piano with a fellow playing and singing nice chill music for us while we sipped our drinks and stared out the window as we chugged along.

We stayed in a panoramic ocean view cabin, it was adequate, if a bit small for the two of us and our toddler. My wife enjoys travelling heavy so it was a constant chore to try and keep everything stored properly. The shower had very good pressure though and was quite hot, both important to me. The sound proofing was amazing. Our room was right next to the centrum area, where there was a party happening when we went to bed every evening and presumably lasted late into the night. Even though in the hallway it was so loud you couldn’t speak to a person right next to you without yelling, with our door shut it was a barely audible murmur. When they closed the extra set of doors at quiet time ( I think that was 2100?) that separated the hallway from the centrum, you couldn’t hear it at all.... really amazing, lots of big budget fancy hotels could learn something there.

So, the reason I’m giving this a 5 star review is simply because of the folks that run the ship. They seem to be, by my estimation, some of the most professional, kind and happy people in the service industry. From the moment we boarded every member of the crew was extremely helpful and friendly. Our waiters Al and Lorianno, ensured that our toddler had a bowl of fruit sliced to my wife’s exact specifications as well as a glass of lactose free milk (intolerance) as soon as we sat down. They were really very interactive and conversational with us, by the end of the cruise they really didn’t feel like strangers. Also, speaking of my son, so many members of the crew stopped to coo over our son and interact with him throughout the voyage, a great many of them remembered his name along the way. Part way through the trip we had the pleasure of getting toured around the ship’s galley by the head waiter Hans, what a cool guy. He was very knowledgeable and witty. This cost is 69 USD each and included a special lunch and supper and one of the specialty restaurants, Giovanni’s table; well worth it.

Also excellent was the tot/baby area of the Adventure Ocean child care service. We used them twice, once for an hour and once for four hours. Both times our son seemed to love it. The ladies that took care of him seemed very happy and according to their posted bios were also very well educated. We will definitely use this service again in the future.

The food was a high point as well. The options include the Windjammer all day buffet and the main dining room. We ate at the Windjammer most mornings and at the main dining room each evening at 6. The main dining room was more of a time investment (at least 90 minutes) but was always well worth the wait. My favourites included the French Onion Soup, Roast Chicken, and lamb. On the last night I sprung for the fillet minion which was 25% off it’s usual 16.95 up charge. The Windjammer food was quite good, lots of variety and well prepared. The dining room food though was excellent, as good as I’ve ever had anywhere.

I think that my bottom line is that this was a very good experience. My only real concern was that the boat wasn’t exactly equipped with a toddler in mind. I probably wouldn’t have chosen it for that reason, but it was booked by my wife’s grandparents who were with us. With that said, our toddler will soon be potty trained so we would definitely go back.
ThermalTweaker’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages Under 3
Service
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