Vision of the Seas Just Okay: Vision of the Seas Cruise Review by FLtennisNE1

Vision of the Seas 3
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Vision of the Seas Just Okay

Sail Date: July 2010
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Stockholm
Vision of the Seas is one of RC older boats. We have cruised RC before in the Caribbean and have been on one of the newer and grander boats. This boat does not have the grand veranda to walk through for shopping, speciality restaurants, and extra unique bars like the ships we are used to.

If you are looking for specialty restaurants you will not find it on this ship. You are stuck with the dining room and the Windjammer which we found out serve the same thing each night so not much variety. The food on this ship was not up to standard as we have experienced on other cruises. It was good for the firt few days, then it went downhill from there. Also, service was slow. If you take this cruise, make sure you inform your waiter how quickly or how slow you would like to be served. Keep in mind they are trying to accommodate the eating styles of several different cultures. Being from the US, we like to have our food served to us rather quickly so that we can enjoy other things More going on (esp if you have the 8:45 pm seating which we did). On the first night, we did not finish dinner until 11:00 pm. When we said something to our waiter about the slow service he made the comment... "oh, you like to eat fast." I guess eating within 2 hours and 15 mins is fast? Anyway, he tried to improve this but we were still having dessert around 10:30 pm each night. If you don't like the rush of the 6pm seating then I would suggest signing up for the My Time Dining, I wish we had. You may get a different server each night and you have to prepay your gratuities up front, but it beats having to rush to the early seating or finishing around 11:00 pm each night.

The service our our room attendent was also not what we had expected. On other cruises, we always had our room attendant around the hallway in the morning and at the end of the day to get us anything we needed when we got back from shore. We did not experience that level of service on this boat. We hardly saw our attendant and it was the first time I had to use the "make up room" card in the door to make sure he would show up. Again, not sure if this is a European thing where they do not want to see the room attendant, but it would have helped to have a little more contact with him without having to chase him down.

The RC staff on this ship did not do a very good job of crowd control. Our boat arrived very late on the last day due to weather and a lot of us were rushing to be able to catch our flights in time. They had no procedure of how to get passengers off in time to catch flights. They basically did not care that we were going to miss our flights. Unless you asked specific questions on what to do, they did not provide the information.

The joke among our group on this trip is that we called it "the training boat" of RC. We were shocked to find out that only the best employees of RC get assigned to this ship. I found that hard to believe when we received far superior service from a different RC ship and Carnival.

We are not big on booking the tours from the cruise ship, so I would recommend brining a city map of each port along with information on the nearest train/bus stations to get you where you want to go. The taxi drivers that are at the cruise ship shuttle stops will charge you more than if you just walk a couple of blocks away and hail a cab. (ex. Poland, cab to Gdansk was $40 euro for 4 people when we ended up taking the train over for $3USD per person). Also, it is good to have at least $75-$100 USD worth of each country's currency to get you started (cabs/food/gifts). There are many exchange shops once you get to the tourist areas.

This cruise was just okay. We took the Baltic Sea cruise as the second week of our trip to Europe so that we could see as many places as possible within the time that we had. It was nice to see the ports on the cruise, but it would have to be a great deal in order for me to consider another RC cruise. It would definitely have to be on one of their newer ships. Less

Published 07/27/10

Cabin review: D27640 Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony

balcony room - nice size, we didn't have bunk beds like our last cruises with our kids so it definitely felt bigger to us. Typical size room on a cruise ship.

Read All Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony (D2) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

I wish we had more time to spend at this port. We took the shuttle in to town and by the time we reached Gdansk it was noon. We had a little time to visit St. Mary's church and climb the tower to the top to take some great photos. We went shopping in Old town on Long Street. The best prices for amber and other gifts is at this port. We left back to the train to go to Sopot which has a nice long pier and other shopping tents. Neat little area and we wished we had more time. Our port was in Gdynia which does not have a lot to see.

Read 55 Gdansk Reviews

We did not book a tour through the ship and just took the shuttle into town and off to a ferry to see the Fortress of Suomenlinna which was listed as the top thing to to on Trip Advisor. If you take the ferry make sure it is the one that will take you straight to Kings Gate so you don't have to walk the entire fortress to see the best part. After that, we went through the market which was one of the better tent markets at this port. After that we took a cab up to the rock church which was interesting but you will probably only spend about 10 min here.

Read 612 Helsinki Reviews

Nice small town. Did not book a tour, just walked around the city and took a short boat ride on the canal by the park. Beautiful and clean city. Might not be a bad spot to take a walking tour here to learn more about the city.

Read 44 Riga Reviews

I'm giving this port a five because we had a private driver and tour guide through Red October tours (worth every penny). You have to have a visa or on a guided tour in order to visit St. Petersburg. This tour was worth it because our driver had our whole day planned and the tickets to each location were perfectly timed and we did not have to wait in long lines. Believe me, you will regret being on a bus with 40 people trying to see this city. We also paid for the option to go to the palace by Hydrofoil (high speed boat) and this was worth it as well.

Our tour did not initially have a stop for lunch, but our tour guide was kind enough to stop at a local restaurant to try their local baked pies. It was the best food so far on our Baltic trip!

We were able to see some of Stockholm when we flew in the day before the cruise. We stayed at the Nordic Sea Hotel which was excellent. We walked from there to Old Town and spent the day among the shops and stopped at a restaurant to eat. Servers here were not very friendly in this part of town. Make sure you get a recommendation of a place to eat, but stay out of Old Town to eat unless it's ice cream. Went to the Absolute Ice Bar that evening and it was a lot of fun.

We had really bad weather when we reached this port. It is here you have to be tendered to shore by boat. Make sure you get your tender tickets at 9am even if you are headed off to breakfast. The weather caused delays in getting to shore and it basically rained the entire day. We ate at a great restaurant in town, but not much shopping here. The weather got progressively worse and it took us two hours in a chaotic line to get on to a tender boat. The cruise director had no idea how to handle crowd control in the conditions we were in. My hats off to the crew that were able to get us back to the ship safely navigating 15 foot waves.

My advice - if the weather is bad and rainy, do not go on shore. It is not worth being miserable in the que line for the tender if it gets shut down due to high waves. If the waves are high, chances are you will be next to the person that gets motion sickness.

Read 32 Visby Reviews

Compare Prices on Vision of the Seas Baltic Sea Cruises

Read more Vision of the Seas cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Vision of the Seas Review >>

Compare Prices on Vision of the Seas Baltic Sea Cruises

Member Since 2009
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?
Skip X

See Vision of the Seas deals up to 82% off:

September Deals
Vision of the Seas 68% Loved It

13 Night Fall Foliage Cruise
See all Vision of the Seas Deals >>