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14 Royal Caribbean Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise, so we had nothing to compare it to. The unfortunate timing of the rough waters made it pretty much suck. Being the smallest ship, it rocked back and forth and up and down 24/7. Which ruined any excitement or ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so we had nothing to compare it to. The unfortunate timing of the rough waters made it pretty much suck. Being the smallest ship, it rocked back and forth and up and down 24/7. Which ruined any excitement or enthusiasm one would have for the experience. Of course everyone we meet from cub cruisers to veteran cruisers said it was the worst cruise (as far as being tossed about) that they had been on and not to let it ruin our desire to go on others. But when you're eating breakfast and the dishes, apples and plexiglass protector come flying off the buffet because of the ship's rocking, one has to understand why we didn't enjoy the cruise. However, with that being said, it's not royal caribbean's fault the waters were really rocky. So here's my opinion of the onboard ship experience. Food and service was fabulous While the ship is the oldest, i felt it was maintained and keep up well. Entertainment was so-so. Magician and hypnotist were lame but the dancers and whitney houston tribute were great. Especially the ballroom dance couple. I felt that royal caribbean spends too much effort on hacking their wares, whether it's pictures every time you turn around. (i was almost expecting a photographer in the toilet to capture my first bm while on the ship:) clearance sales from the gifts shops, bingo cards...just lighten up on the sales royal caribbean and focus more on the customer's happiness and you'll get more sales. Worst part of the trip (besides the rocky waters) was the fact that our stateroom was directly above the ceiling speakers for the theater below. So every night we heard every show, dance, game, party as if it was in our bathroom. Kept us awake almost every night. Called one night and complained the next day and it wasn't acknowledge. I'm sure everyone who gets those rooms complains each trip so they're used to it. Would i take another one? Well it's going to have to be a huge ship with lots of port stops and not a lot of days at sea. Oh and heres one big money saving tip... We stayed at the la quinta inn at the airport and they offer free parking during the entire cruise and even take you to the port for free. The return trip costs $10 per person. I WAS EXPECTING TO PAY $20 A DAY AT THE PORT GARAGE, SO NEEDLESS TO SAY I WAS EXTREMELY HAPPY TO SAVE $100 Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
When purchasing the Ultra bev. package, they add other cost such as, the drink in the pineapple. There was an additional charge of $4 for that. The last morning of the cruise, the dining room did not have mimosas. The dining room did not ... Read More
When purchasing the Ultra bev. package, they add other cost such as, the drink in the pineapple. There was an additional charge of $4 for that. The last morning of the cruise, the dining room did not have mimosas. The dining room did not have all wines available to me with my ultra package. The food was sub-par and very, very small portions except for the night that we had lamb. The pool area near the big screen was over crowded and there was no one there (cruise crew) that was able to get a party atmosphere going. The person cleaning our cabin was nice to the adults; but, not to our 14 year old son. Most of the indoor bartenders did not smile or seem happy. The windjammer salad buffet was the best thing on the ship along with the ice cream machine. The bed was ok and the pillows were good. The public ladies rooms were kept clean. Too many children with no activities just roaming. Instead of an ice skating rink, it should have been a roller rink, or both. Thank goodness they had a Basket Ball court for the teenagers. I did not like that I could not order bottled water and a drink at the same time while outside near the pool/tv screen, even though I purchased the ultimate drink package. Thanks for having the football game on the big outdoor screen. My husband liked that. But, we are going back to Disney Cruises. This experience was nothing to talk about. This was our 2nd time with RC. The first time was worst; but, it was 7 years ago. Thought it would be better. We have been on 10 cruises and Disney has never left us disappointed. One last thing, this is not the fault of RC, but, the people on the ship were basically unhappy and rude. No one appeared to be happy. They need a new cruise director. He was boring. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I have waited some time to write this review so I could be fair in my assessment, in comparison to other cruises we have taken. In all fairness, this cruise was mistakenly booked during one of the Spring Break weeks, so that is not RC ... Read More
I have waited some time to write this review so I could be fair in my assessment, in comparison to other cruises we have taken. In all fairness, this cruise was mistakenly booked during one of the Spring Break weeks, so that is not RC fault. The GOOD Waiters and cabin staff were outstanding. We wanted for nothing in our cabin. And our dinner wait staff were courteous and always attentive. Food was very good. Portofino was wonderful dining experience. Ship was really beautiful. We liked the promenade and how everything is very localized. Ice skating and dinner shows were terrific. The BAD These few things killed the cruise for us, despite everything that was good. Lines - long lines for EVERYTHING! Especially guest services. Insane why they could not put more people behind the desk to minimize the delays. Drink Package - again, more lines. When we embarked, we could not see the front of drink package line. So we decided to buy an embarkation drink before fire drill, settle into room, and chill. Returning to our room from muster station, same thing - insanely long lines for drink package. So we bought a glass of wine, had dinner and decided to wait in drink pkg line now. After waiting and buying package, we went to guest services, waited in line another half hour with all our drink receipts, only to be told they would not credit what we had spent on our drinks from earlier. All would have been included in our package, so we thought that was completely unfair. More about drink package below. Bar Lines - INSANE. This was the straw that broke the back. We waited up to an hour for drinks at the various ship bars. (An hour wait at the outdoor bar by the kiddie pool) This is completely unacceptable. We are thinking that bar staff goes on slow-mo because of the quantity of drink package sales, at least on our cruise. We spoke to a bartender in Viking Club and he said it was because of the high number of college kids. But I am not buying that exclusively. It's a huge ship that holds alot of people... if it wasn't a college kid, it would be someone else. There is no excuse for having to wait 15-40 minutes on average for a glass of wine. There was no way the drink package was worth it due to the time it took to get one drink. RC has to fix this problem. Lounge Lizards - RC has to fix the problem of people leaving dirty towels on deck chairs to reserve and walking away. My husband and I had 3 days on the cruise ship and not one of those days were we able to find 2 clean chairs to sit together outside. That's INSANE. First day we sat in shade toward front (or maybe the back?) and it was insanely loud. The second day, we sat outside on bench near wake boarding pool. On our last day, we finally took someones dirty shoes off one chair and a linen lunch napkin off the other, put them on floor by the chair and sat down. No one returned in entire 3 hours we sat there. This same day, another passenger was complaining as well and told us it is easier to get a seat at a white house dinner than a seat by the pool, and I totally agree. This cruise is for R&R. Which is sitting by pool, enjoying music, enjoying a cocktail. Even for 2 hours. Most everything that should have been fun on this ship was a hassle. We're going to stick to the smaller ships from now on. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I consider myself an experienced cruiser – not an aficionado by any means, but I’ve been on 6 or 7 over the years. Obviously I am a fan. Actually, about half of those have been on Royal Caribbean, with the last one about 4 years ago ... Read More
I consider myself an experienced cruiser – not an aficionado by any means, but I’ve been on 6 or 7 over the years. Obviously I am a fan. Actually, about half of those have been on Royal Caribbean, with the last one about 4 years ago giving me a pretty great experience (the other lines were Carnival and Celebrity if you are curious). However, this most recent experience was enough to make me say I’ll likely never book with Royal Caribbean again. I set sail on the Liberty of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale in late January. It was a family event – our group was about 70 people. We are a fun group that can roll with the punches and make the best of things – the only reason the vacation wasn’t a total bust. At first glance the Liberty looked like a great option, one of the largest in RC’s fleet I believe. Let’s start with the positive…the activities on board and the ship itself were great. The public areas were well designed with plenty of fun bars, shops and restaurants to hang out in (personal favs were Schooner Bar and the Hoof & Claw English Pub). The casino was very good with friendly dealers who willingly taught me the basics of craps. Yay! The pool area was awesome – if crowded –with plenty of hot tubs and a rock wall. The FloRider surfing set up was an absolute blast! Finally, some of my group utilized the child care services and reported excellent experiences on that front. Unfortunately, everything goes downhill from here. Upon closer examination, cleanliness was a huge issue on board. Despite the instructions in the form of verbal abuse from staffers to use the Purell stations prior to entry into dining areas. Upon checking into our staterooms my father found what looked like pubic hair inside some of the drawers. Over the 4 night cruise our stateroom was cleaned only twice. Another example, the first night at dinner there was a hair in my cheese plate. I’m relatively understanding …in a busy kitchen things happen, I called the waiter over to let him know about the issue and request a different dessert. He proceeded to imply that it was my hair that had fallen in (completely different colors by the way). I was not amused and told him so – after which he went around to the other side of the table and attempted to blame me again to my family members. It was an early indication of the atrocious customer service that was to come. With this level of apparent disregard for cleanliness on board it comes as no surprise that this line has been in the news recently for health related outbreaks. Thank goodness no one got sick in my group. Moving on…If you are like me, one of the things you look forward to most on a cruise is the food. Oh the food! Midnight buffets, burgers by the pool, main dining room smorgasbords and even the specialty restaurants…bring it on. Someone jokingly said if you don’t gain 2 pounds a day on a cruise you are doing it wrong. My past cruise experience led me to believe that I was in for a 4-day long amazing culinary adventure…I could not have been more wrong. The food on the Liberty of the Seas was TERRIBLE. To be fair, the casual buffet in the WindJammer for lunch and breakfast was good…your usual fare. The main dining room is where I had the majority of my problems. The seafood was fishy and rubbery across the board – it all tasted like it had been leftover from previous sailings. It was old and on the verge of going bad. To add insult to injury everything had that too hot, rubbery taste we all associate with excessive use of the microwave. OK, lesson learned – I’ll stick to land based cuisine…it didn’t help. Nothing was ever cooked to order properly. On multiple occasions my medium rare order came out charred and well done, while my neighbors well-done was close to bloody. Of the 4 nights we had dinner only the last had any actually tasty dishes. The last night…also known as tip night – call me cynical but I feel those 2 things may be related. I didn’t personally dine at Chops or Portofino (the specialty restaurants), but members of our group did and reported back that they were only marginally better. Now let’s talk about that terrible level of customer service I mentioned earlier. Again, based on prior cruises, I was expecting pretty good customer service. Maybe not Disney level, but it is a cornerstone of this industry and I would expect representatives of the cruise line to take it seriously. Nope, the staff of the Liberty of the Seas was not helpful or friendly…in fact they were downright combative at times. It started in the main dining room – I’m sensing a trend here. The wait staff was horrendous. Every single night at our table they either got an order incorrectly, didn’t bring someone’s order out, brought out random extra orders or forgot to take someone’s order entirely. They were also incredibly slow at filling water glasses or taking additional wine orders. Not to mention the hair incident. The beverage staff was equally awful at many of the on-board bars. They seemed to all be moving at the speed of sloth, it took a staggeringly long time to get a drink anywhere…even when we were the only people in the bar area. Bartenders will frequently roll their eyes at you, or condescendingly ask “what’s the magic word” when you order a drink. Side Note: I’m generally polite and a prior server – I tip well and always say please, which that guy would have heard if he bothered to pay attention to anything. Expect to be blamed for any problem you bring to someone’s attention – even at the guest relations desk. We had a small billing discrepancy I needed to clear up at the end of the journey. The rep behind the desk was completely rude and abrasive. I have never been so disappointed in a company. The level of quality for my experience as a whole was so far below my expectations it was shocking. I love going on cruises, I’m sure I’ll go on many more in my lifetime – they just won’t be with Royal Caribbean.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
2 hours plus to board... Not immigration fault too few RC check in staff No available food after boarding except Serrento's pizza with long lines.... 1st night bar = casino, club, everything shut down at 2am. Yes you heard me called ... Read More
2 hours plus to board... Not immigration fault too few RC check in staff No available food after boarding except Serrento's pizza with long lines.... 1st night bar = casino, club, everything shut down at 2am. Yes you heard me called concierge asked about food and bars... CLOSED. I show for 4 nights in main stage.... Comedian/magician 1 show at 7:30pm on last night Chops specialty restaurant sent back two veal chops which we couldn't cut.. chief came out he couldn't cut ... apologized nice guy but we had enough. Men's rooms all over ship smelled like urine ( I am not fussing about stuff like that but it was simply not clean. Golf simulator down entire trip. Ship beautiful and nice, well maintained Disappointed in RC and will not go on large ship out of Ft L again. Getting same problem staff didn't know which level to direct us to get off with bags ... Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
An offer came in our email and the price was hard to beat, so we called RCI to book the March 7th cruise on Jewel of the seas. We decided to upgrade to a superior balcony, cabin 9254 and specifically asked if it was obstructed in any way ... Read More
An offer came in our email and the price was hard to beat, so we called RCI to book the March 7th cruise on Jewel of the seas. We decided to upgrade to a superior balcony, cabin 9254 and specifically asked if it was obstructed in any way and was told it was NOT... well they LIED!!!!! it is obstructed on not 1 or 2 but all 4 sides ( including up and down) so our views of the ocean were extremely limited! window washing equipment up and below us, a ladder for the window washer to the right and a hugeeeee i beam to the left!!!!! and for this view i paid MORE than a regular balcony!!!!! to say we were disappointed with our accommodations is an understatement! Boarding was a piece of cake, used capitol parking and we were at the terminal in less than 5 mins!, once inside, they do a great job of directing you to the proper lines and what information to have ready. check in was under 15 mins!, riht up to our stateroom to our major disappointment. went to guest services who told us that there was no place to move us, and that it was not a restricted view!!! i invited them up to the cabin to see for themselves!( nobody ever showed up) on to lunch at the windjammer... food was overcooked and mostly cold by the time that we got there! luckily we knew about the seaview cafe, best food on the ship! wonderful chili and fried fish! Meals in the tides were disgusting at best. Prime rib was raw, had to send it back 2x to get an edible piece, 2nd night the beef tenderloin was MOOING!!! the 2nd piece was so tough you could play hockey with it!, we skipped the 3rd night due to the poor performance... also rolls are COLD! i mean ICE COLD every night, bar service in the main dining room was a hit or miss, usually having to ask 4 or 5 times! no smiles on the waiters at table 144 must have been the end of their tour. another note was that there was NO escargot yet again ( have read this on other reviews) for the entire trip, they substituted with minuscule scallops in the escargot trays! Chops on the other hand was FABULOUS!!! of COURSE ITS A 39.00 UPCHARGE to go to that restaurant, steaks were cooked perfectly, service as it should have been and WARM rolls! everything of any quality has an UPCHARGE on this boat! you cant even get freshly squeezed orange juice without paying 2.50!!! coffee is starbucks and was delightful but again a 5.50 UPCHARGE for coffee!!! the most memorable person was the room service delivery guy he was FANTASTIC!!! as for our room steward, even though asked repeatedly every day, couldn't seem to remember to fill the ice bucket! but room service brought up the ice with a smile 2x a day!!! NOTE..... if you are a smoker..... there is NO smoking in the casino on formal night!!!!! no announcements made, but they not so politely tell you that when you light up on that night! casino was average for a cruise ship, saw people winning 5 and 6 hundred, so the slots were paying, even on the way back! NO free beverages in the casino, even though i had well over 1500 points! major disappointment! BINGO..... DONT Bother!!!!! $48 FOR 4 GAMES OF BINGO and the payouts were only $200 a game!!!!! majorrrrr rip off! Activities were varied and the staff was EXCELLENT!!! got people involved and made it fun to be by the pool! everything on RCI has turned into an " extra" getting your room is inexpensive, but the charges were MORE than the cruise, AND my husband and i DONT DRINK!!!!! all in all ill go back to carnival, where they do NOT nickel and dime you to death! Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
My wife, two sons (8 and 10) and I sailed the Mariner of the week of August 15th. I purposely waited several weeks to write this review to see what really stood out and what didn't. I have a feeling if I'd written a day or two ... Read More
My wife, two sons (8 and 10) and I sailed the Mariner of the week of August 15th. I purposely waited several weeks to write this review to see what really stood out and what didn't. I have a feeling if I'd written a day or two after, it may have been different. This was my sixth cruise, first on RCCL- This is the third for my boys and they are hooked, so it looks like we'll be cruising annually. We were excited about this cruise to finally sail on RCCL- our previous cruises have all been on Carnival, save one on Princess. I will primarily compare this cruise to our experience(s) with Carnival. Overall we had a good time and enjoyed the cruise; no matter what, we try to have fun but there were some significant downers on this cruise that will prevent us from returning to RCCL. Ports- been to all so many times, not worth discussing. It is personal preference anyway. One mention- we normal grab a cab in Puerto Vallarta to the sea life park and ride water slides all day. Its now called aqua-adventure and has become substantially more expensive...I would never book a shore excursion with ship. I continue to read people paying 50-60 bucks per person for a glass bottom boat road ride to El Arco and lands end in Cabo. $20 for four people is what we paid this time and we got them to drop us off and pick us up at beach afterwards. I'll start with all the good: -Service was great. Our dining room waiter and asst. waiter were probably the best we've had. Cabin Steward was good. We never had a problem with service anywhere throughout the entire cruise. Great table mate pairings as well. -Cabin size/layout. We had a D1 balcony stateroom (6652) and while no bigger than other cabins we've been in, it seemed more functional and spacious. -Ocean Adventure Program. My kids absolutely hate the Carnival version, but said this was "OK," which means it was probably pretty good. My older son commented that the games were better and the staff actually participated rather than just explained activity. I liked it because there were some family events and because there wasn't the hard sell you get on Carnival. -Coffee: Best coffee I've had on a cruise- this is subjective of course but I really enjoyed the coffee (Seattle's Best) served at the cafe promenade. Pastry was decent here too. -Casino Slots: I actually $1000 one night on $0.25 machine and another $700 the next night on the Wheel of Fortune $1. Was surprised that cruise slots paid- I'd never seen it. -Em- and Debarkation: Unbelievably easy on both counts. One thing I hate about Carnival is the rush to get you out of your room. Royal noted" relax in your stateroom until you assigned time." We were in no rush so this suited us well. Not so great: (or carnival is better) -Beds: The carnival beds are so much more comfortable. -Cruise director: Three weeks later and I can't remember his name- I can remember the way he looked and he did do a pretty good rendition of "Mustang Sally" one night but this is the first cruise I've been on where the Captain (Johnnie) comes over the PA more than the CD. -Ship- Largest ship I have been on by far, but always crowded everywhere. And while the royal promenade was cool, it was like being at the mall, December 23rd, in a good economy! Ship had a weird layout also, not being able to get to one area without going a level down and coming back up for example. -Photos- RCCL needs to teach the staff to take better photos. The only decent ones we got were so expensive and had fingerprints all over them. Bought them anyway, but for some reason carnival photo seem better and operation more organized. -Liquor prices- way higher than Carnival last year. -Sanitation Nazi's- It bothered me that every time I entered a room, some staff member was stopping me and shooting Purell into my had. It caused major log jams into dining room at night and I doubt it does any good. People either exhibit good hygiene or they don't. (How did mankind survive or so long without Purell??) BTW I never got a wart in my life until I cruised- now three years straight I get a wart about 1 moth after returning from cruise- all on the hand. Weird, but proof that Purell is worthless as I understand warts are mainly viral. If people would just wash their hands! Will prevent me from returning: (or anything would be better) -Food: I'm not as critical as other concerning the dining room food for Dinner- but everything else (with exception of Johnny Rockets) was bad. I expected better than carnival and got worse...a lot worse. I thought the nightly dinners were decent so I won't complain about them but the Windjammer was really bad. This is from someone who has no problem eating at Denny's. Some standouts from the windjammer: Bacon so thin, so raw and so greasy it would make a goat choke. The deep fried potatoes they called hash browns, either in the shape of a wedge or a tater tot or in a the McDonald's hash brown shape were always floating or swimming in grease, even right out of kitchen they were so bad. Scrambles eggs horrible. Biscuits horrible (Flour/Shortening/baking powder/salt/milk- how freeking hard is that?) Toast always rock hard and cold...and not really toasted. Pancakes, French toast etc all cold, cold, cold. I never saw a grill for hamburgers \ hotdogs; they were served in big metal pans swimming in greasy water and had been cooking for what tasted like hours- so so dry. Fries were coated and not to my liking and the pizza was only a step above frozen, usually cold. I think you get the idea....but in case it wasn't clear...cold, greasy, low quality sums it up. I honest can't say we really enjoyed anything from the Windjammer... -Elevators- the worst of any ship I have been on- slow, slow, slow. Between the stair climbing and the food I actually lost weight on this cruise. Yes...lost! -Price: Much more expensive than Carnival, still trying to figure out why? Lastly, and many of you will think me a jerk for writing this, but the ship was booked with (I think I heard) 800 deaf passengers. Now...I have nothing against deaf people, but I think if RCCL is going to book out 1/3 or 1/2 ship to a particular group they should tell you that before you book. If definitely changed the feeling of the cruise; there were times when entire public rooms were silent. Trying to get from one end of promenade to the other was difficult; "excuse me," didn't work and deaf people I noticed tend to stand around in circles, making an already tight feeling ship tighter. I am absolutely certain the entertainment and activities were changed to accommodate them. I'm not saying it was bad, it was just different and I think we had a right to know before we booked. Just imagine getting on a cruise booked with 800 preachers, strippers, car salesmen, republicans/democrats or whatever...don't you think Royal should disclose that? I stand by what I said so if you want to tell me what a jerk I am...go ahead, email me (lookin4facts@yahoo.com), but I stand by my feelings. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
This was my first cruise and I was excited about my trip to the Mexican Riviera. Many of my friends had told me of their cruise adventures on other cruise lines and I finally made up my mind to take one. My travel agent at AAA found this ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was excited about my trip to the Mexican Riviera. Many of my friends had told me of their cruise adventures on other cruise lines and I finally made up my mind to take one. My travel agent at AAA found this deal. She will be punished. Mind you, I had to pay 200% because I'm single, but that was my choice. I also flew first class from Seattle to LAX, again my choice, so this was a pricey vacation. Just as the plane pulled away from the jet way, the pilot announced that there was a mechanical difficulty and we had to get off the plane while they found another. I panicked because I knew I had to be at the ship by 3:30. I knew I would miss the RCI bus. Blessedly the airlines provided a car and driver in LA and got me to the ship in plenty of time. Because of the hustle at the airport, I tipped the driver my last $20 and forgot to go the the ATM to get big money for the trip. More about this later. Getting on to the ship was no problem. As I was told my room wouldn't be ready for a while I was encouraged to go to the Windjammer Cafe and have lunch; lunch being dried out hamburgers on stale buns with equally stale french fries. I was hoping this wasn't a harbinger of vittles yet to come. I wandered around the ship, which was very clean and polished trying to avoid the dozens of unsupervised children running and screaming. (I can complain about this, I'm a school principal.) This was a problem throughout the whole trip. I finally went to my stateroom, which was on deck 7 and was greeted by a very nice steward. I found all of the crew very helpful and friendly. Not so much the officers. The room was larger than I had imagined. It was all very dated, sort of a latter day Motel 6, but immaculate. The bed was comfortable. The balcony was great. I awakened that morning at 4AM in order to make my plane and slept through my 8:30 seating at dinner. So, I just ordered one of the five things on the Room Service menu. I was disappointed in that. I called a friend of mine who had just returned from a cruise on the Princess Line and she said their room service menu was long and varied. The first day at sea, I was awakened by the Captain's morning announcement, which was sort of a radio hee-haw program in Norwegian. I hope he hadn't spent too much time writing it. I went to the Windjammer to have breakfast. Breakfast was ok, but there's not much you can do to ruin it. After breakfast I decided to wander around the Promenade which I think is the equivalent to a "on the water mall." I went into the Duty Free store, which had nothing I was interested in and the General Store where I did want to pick up some Tylenol. However, when I saw that the Tylenol was $12 for what I normally pay $3.99 for, I decided to live with the pain and pick some up in Cabo. Next, I stood in line to make a reservation for a shore excursion. I told the woman which excursion I was interested in and that I had a few questions. She went through her spiel. I asked my questions, which she didn't answer and then repeated her story again. I repeated my questions again. She didn't answer them and started on that damned memorized speech again. I thought the hell with it and bought the package, which was a trip to a resort in Cabo with a bed on the beach, drinks, and lunch, and a near death experience. That shut her up. Pool Time. I thought it would be a good time to get some sun. I went out to the pool area and there were two tiny pools filled with kids and their even more immature parents. I can't imagine how they thought 3000 people were all going to get into these pools. I walked a little further and found an adults' only pool. I found myself a nice deck chair, settled in with a book, fell asleep, and, of course woke up lobster red. I hopped into the pool and I know I heard the sound of sizzling. (This was entirely my fault.) I didn't know pools on ships were filled with salt water. That was a big surprise. I dried off and went back to my chair, now pulled into the shade and read my book when the waiter came by. I ordered an iced tea. He said, "Sorry, we only serve alcoholic drinks. You'll have to go into the Windjammer Cafe to get iced tea." I couldn't believe that. Lunch Time. I went back to the Windjammer Cafe. The food was almost mediocre. It was just a little north of the "Hometown Buffet." It didn't stop me from eating, but friends told me stories about the fantasies of cruise food. This was not it. Soggy wraps, cold soups, iceberg lettuce, two dressings, I could have stayed at home for that. Now back to the ATM. I went to the ATM machine at the Guest Services desk and there was an "Out of Order" sign on it. I went to the Officer at the Guest Services Desk and waited while he polished his cufflinks and ignored me for 10 minutes. Finally, he glanced up and I asked him quickly if there was another ATM machine on the ship. He says, "There are machines all over the ship. Try the one at the end of the promenade." I waltzed down to the end of the promenade and there is, indeed, an ATM machine with an "Out of Order" sign on it. Apparently, all of the ATM machines are out of order which sort of concerns me when I leave the ship in Cabo the next day. I go back to the Guest Relations desk where the officer is now giving himself a manicure and has been joined by a colleague. I told them that all the machines are out of order. Officer Attitude No. 1 says, "That's too bad." A sneer accompanied that statement. My father was an Air Force General. He would never have spoken to anyone from the lowest enlisted man to any civilian in that manner. That young man needs some sensitivity training. However, his compadre does tell me that they can cash a check for me. I never write checks. I pay everything electronically, but something told me to bring two checks. However, the catch is they will have to check with my bank to see if I have the funds, fair enough. However, their computer system is acting up and if they aren't able to verify my funds, they'll still have to charge my Sea Pass $25.00. I told them to forget it. That's enough to buy two bottles of Tylenol. Dinner: It's time for dinner and I have assigned to the late seating in the Rhapsody in Blue Dining Room with five other single people. I am by far the oldest. They are great people and we get to know and enjoy each other's humor quickly. The one thing we particularly have in common is that we think the food in the Dining Room is horrible. My first evening I order the Chicken Marsala. Now, I have been out before and recognize Chicken Marsala. This was breaded chicken and absolutely no marsala. The others had ordered steak of some type. I don't eat red meat, so I can't speak from experience, but none of them could cut it. So, back it went and we all tried something else. This went on each night. I finally skipped two nights except for the lobster night. It was okay. We docked in Cabo and I rushed to an ATM machine right as you get off the ship. It was in Spanish, but it dispensed money and from what it said the surcharge was 34 pesos. I got $300 and when the receipt came out it charged me a $34 surcharge. I wasn't happy about that, but my bank pays all of my ATM fees because it's a private bank. The fact that it was on the terminal dock and the ship's captain warned us about everything else. I was sort of surprised that they didn't say look out for the cash machines. I went on my excursion. A bus to us to the ME Resort somewhere in Cabo with a strange tour guide. I think it was a time-share for extremely beautiful male and female models. Anyway, 30 of us troop through their space to the beach, which is roped off with a sign that says, "Private Party" (us). The people who live there didn't look very happy and I can't say I blame them. We were invited to use the pool, given our own huge pillows with umbrellas, towels and our own waiters to serve us. I thought, "This isn't so bad." My waiter told me not to go into the ocean because of the jellyfish. So, I just was walking along the shore when this tidal wave washed over me and took me out to sea along with my Ray Bans, wallet, flip-flops. I thought I was drowning and I'm a good swimmer. People came to help me and retrieved my stuff, but I thought I was a goner. After that, I stuck to the swimming pool with the models. There is no way I can be confused for a model. This pool has little inlets and I would swim into them and there were couples in contortionists' positions looking pissed at being interrupted. So, everyone out of the pool. I stayed in "time out" on my pillow and my waiter kept bringing me lemonade. After a while, they brought us a good lunch. The best food I had on this whole trip, with linen napkins and silver. Impressive. I kept tipping my waiter. The service was impressive. Because of my tumble in the big water, I developed a pounding headache. (I had gone to the Pharmacia in Cabo first thing and bought Tylenol for five bucks.) I told the tour guide that I wasn't feeling well and that I would take a cab back to the ship. Wrong. She wanted to call an ambulance. I know she was being thorough and worrying about the ship's liability, but I said no ambulance, so we settled on me filling out about 15 pieces of paper where I absolved RCI of any wrongdoing and that I refused medical treatment. A cab came. He took me back to the ship and the rest of the time, I wandered around Cabo. That excursion wasn't worth $80. That night I went to dinner at the Windjammer and it was the same food from the Dining Room from the night before just recycled. Chicken Marsala was now Chicken you pick the sauce and a lot of strips of tough steak. That was sort of the theme for the rest of the voyage. That night I went to the Savoy Theater for what I thought was a grand Broadway review. I felt so sorry for the performers. I know they tried hard. This was a musical revue so off off off off Broadway it was in Kansas. I found it very important to drink during the performance. I spent a lot of time in the Casino. The Champagne bar was good. As long as you drank, the caviar with all the fixings' was free. One of my biggest gripes other than the Officers who want to be Captains was the unusual amount of hawking of merchandise down the length of the ship. Diamonds by the foot, gold chains by the foot, watches, wallets. Very pushy sales people. It was very tacky for what was supposed to be a sophisticated cruise line. My largest gripe was the people selling dubious "art". I don't know if that happens on every ship, but I found it to be tantamount to Wal-Mart. I was very disappointed in Mexico. I had a very hard time seeing past the poverty to enjoy myself. I'm a sucker for a handout particularly when it comes to hungry people, so instead of giving them money I went into McDonald's and bought them a meal. I don't pretend to be any kind of philanthropist, but it just got to me. So I spent my time in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta just walking through town trying to avoid people selling things made in China. The two days back at sea was boring. I swam. I read. I ate the food I was trying to avoid. Most of all I wondered about the parents who must have told their children as they boarded the ship, "Have fun and we'll see you next Sunday." Against my better judgment, I'm going to try one more cruise in December to the Caribbean. It won't be on RCI. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
This was my family's second cruise, the first with RCI. We were so disappointed with the vacation we had planned for a year. I don't even know where to start....... Okay, the food. Nothing great-average, but who wants average on ... Read More
This was my family's second cruise, the first with RCI. We were so disappointed with the vacation we had planned for a year. I don't even know where to start....... Okay, the food. Nothing great-average, but who wants average on vacation. The waiter and his assistant were the only things above average on this boat. The head waiter was a little bothersome and I'm not really sure what his job was. The beds are not as comfortable as the Carnival Pride's (which were fantastic!) and there were no robes in the rooms. Our friends who had an upgraded room did have robes and they told us just to call and ask for some. But again, if they are supposed to treat you over the top, like they did on the Carnival Pride, the robes should have been in the room. Our cabin did not get cleaned one night, of course it was Friday evening, and they make you tip on Friday morning if you want to place the charge on your credit card, so I call Guest Services on Saturday morning and tell them our room didn't get cleaned the prior evening and we didn't receive the Compass (the daily event letter) and asked if someone could bring one up. The woman at Guest Services asked me if I was going to go to breakfast, because they had a lot of Compass' at the desk and I could just pick one up. She didn't apologize for the room not being cleaned or anything. Again, not saying alot for their customer service. The entertainment was sad. The comedian and ventriloquist were outstanding, but the ships singers would have a hard time on American Idol. The coffee bar, which of course you pay extra for, has a cute Asian girl working there who doesn't understand English very well. I asked for a non-fat two Equal cappuccino and ended up with an extra shot and no Equal. They didn't offer to make my drink again. The cruise director was always in a suit and you didn't see him very much. Instead you saw the JR. cruise directors 1&2. #1 seemed a bit burned out from his job working with old ladies and bingo hounds and talked about his upcoming vacation to Canada quite a bit. #2 rarely spoke and did not look like he was having fun. While on one of our excursions to Stone Island in Mazatlan, we ended up having #1 and #2 and several of the cruise ships dancers and rockclimbing wall staff party and use foul language in front of us on the beach. Yes, we were with kids and yes they probably have heard the f word before, but it was a bit much. It was a lessoned learned-not all cruise lines are a like! Buyer beware! Read Less
Sail Date February 2008
On November 11,2007 me and my family sailed on the Vision of the Seas from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera. This was our second cruise aboard the Vision of the Seas. Our first cruise aboard the Vision of the Seas was also to the Mexican ... Read More
On November 11,2007 me and my family sailed on the Vision of the Seas from Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera. This was our second cruise aboard the Vision of the Seas. Our first cruise aboard the Vision of the Seas was also to the Mexican Riviera. Embarkation: Was really smooth. We arrived early on the morning of Sunday November 11 in San Pedro.We parked our car at around 10am. Within 5 minutes a shuttle bus pulled up next to our car. We loaded our suitcases aboard and off we went the terminal building. When we got there we flagged down a porter who took our suitcases inside. When we got inside we waited something like 10 minutes for the check in booths to open. Finally when they opened up we got in line and waited about another 10 minutes to be helped.The check in staff was very pleasant.the lady who checked us in didn't waste no more than 5 minutes doing so. We than proceeded to the other end of the terminal and waited about 1 hour to board the ship. We were giving group numbers. We were lucky to be in group 1. When it was finally our turn to board.We had no problems the line moved fast and we boarded with no problems. Stateroom: We had a balcony suite facing the port side. It was very nice and clean. Our room steward Dan was very pleasant and helpful. If we needed anything he would bring it right away. Out of all the crew members Dan was the nicest and always had a smile. Food: The food in the Windjammer was poor. They served the same stuff over and over all week long for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The eggs where under cooked. the bacon tasted funny and the ham also tasted funny. During lunch and dinner the salad bar sucked. The salad mix had more carrots and other types of vegetables than lettuce. As for the dining room avoid it at all costs. The service sucked,The waiter and ast waiter where rude and disappeared for long periods of time. The food took a very long time to get to our table. We asked for desert and never got it. Meet and Mingle: Don't waste your time. Your better off trying to make friends on your own. Entertainment: I give the entertainment 5 stars. It was really good. Some of the performers included, Herb Reed and the Platter's, Bruce Gold, and Martin Lewis. But my most favorite show was the "Love and Marriage" game. Hilda and her husband had me laughing so hard that I couldn't stop. Shore Excursions: In Cabo San Lucas we did the scenic cruise. Which was really good. We got to see Cabo San Lucas from all around. We seen the houses of John Travolta and Sylvester Stallone. In Mazatlan we took the Colonial and City Tour with Mazatlan Frank. His tour was the best. Frank showed us the real Mexico. We got to see a place where a man makes floor tiles using a 100 year old press. He also took us to furniture store where everything is hand made. And we also got to watch a man make bricks out of clay. In Puerto Vallarta we took the City tour. I didn't like it because the tour guide and driver kept reminding everyone to tip them at the end of the tour. Disembarkation: It was super fast. We had express check out and got off the ship at 8am as promised. We cleared customs with no problems.When we got outside we waited something like 5 minutes for the shuttle to take us to our car. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
Both my husband and I have travelled all over the world and do not consider ourselves tourists. We did not enjoy the cruise on Vision of the Seas for many reasons: 1. 4 hours in priority check-in.   2. Slivers of glass in our cabin - ... Read More
Both my husband and I have travelled all over the world and do not consider ourselves tourists. We did not enjoy the cruise on Vision of the Seas for many reasons: 1. 4 hours in priority check-in.   2. Slivers of glass in our cabin - my husband received a gash from a large piece of glass. 3. We were told to check out a room with a balcony to appease us, and the room was occupied. 4. I asked for some hors d'oeuvres at the Champagne bar and was given grief by one of the barmaids. 5. There was not enough room to sit and enjoy the Art Auction. 6. There was not ample seating in the Solarium. 7. Fitness room was small and several machines were broken. Just to name a few, this is why we were not happy with the cruise. We have cruised many times on Royal Caribbean and have received excellent treatment. The $100 on-board credit was not acceptable and not up to the expectations of Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
Our initial impression of the ship was one of excitement--everything looked really nice. Embankment was a breeze and took only a few minutes. Our luggage was brought to our room within a couple hours of boarding the ship. Once on the ... Read More
Our initial impression of the ship was one of excitement--everything looked really nice. Embankment was a breeze and took only a few minutes. Our luggage was brought to our room within a couple hours of boarding the ship. Once on the ship, the excitement soon faded. The public rooms were smelly. We used them only when it was absolutely necessary. We rarely saw the ship being cleaned. The final days of our cruise the elevators were so filthy—fingerprints/crusty areas. The rooms had a strange smell--muggy and stuffy. To be fair, our cabin steward did a very good job. She always tended to our room and picked it up while we were out. Midway through the cruise, there was a sewage problem on the 1st floor and caused the 2nd & 3rd floors to reek of sewage. You could imagine our delight. We did not use the fitness center, but noticed that it seemed to be closed an awful lot. One particular evening we took a stroll over to the fitness area (it was about 6:00 P.M.) only to find it closed and unavailable. The pool area was always very crowded. If you want a lounge chair—you better be there at the crack of dawn. The food left a lot to be desired. The Windjammer Cafe offered good food, but the choices were pretty limited—mashed potatoes/vegetables almost everyday. There were no options of different types of food. We only ate at the Solarium Cafe once—with good reason. The service was terrible! The woman at the counter was very rude and made us feel unwelcome. I forgot to order fries with my lunch (assumed they were included) and when I returned to the counter, the woman simply ignored me as though I didn't exist. After standing there about 8-10 minutes I figured I could live without the fries. We paid the outrageous fee for the soda package only to be denied a coke at the Solarium Cafe because "canned soda" is not included in the package—although that is never mentioned prior to the purchase. FYI—if you travel RCI and chose to purchase the soda/juice package, it only counts towards the fountain beverages. The formal dining room was a joke. I do not understand why RCI forces vacationing guests to go through all the trouble to dress up for formal night only to kill the ambience halfway through dinner with this ear-piercing (no joke) Star Wars music—so tacky!! The service in the formal dining room was mediocre. Our requests, simple as they may have been, were never accommodated (whip cream with pancakes for example). The entertainment sucked! We did not have one good night of entertainment. We checked out Karaoke in the Some Enchanted Evening Lounge, but the lounge was so crowded. There was no place to sit and not much of a view. The piano music in the Champagne Bar was always so loud. It was hard to enjoy the music or the singer's talent because of its blaring volume. You could hear that woman wailing for several floors. We found ourselves bored much of the time on the ship, there really was not much to do. Mexico was beautiful! We had a great time in Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. It felt great to get off the ship! We only chose one shore excursion, the Pirate Ship in Puerto Vallarta. Not worth the $$ we paid!! They crammed 260 people onto that tiny pirate ship. As you could imagine, it was very difficult to see the show with all the people. The margaritas were delicious!! My recommendation for those interested in taking this excursion would be to but it at the port. We paid $72 through RCI and learned that others who bought in Mexico paid only $34. Overall, we wished we would have spend the $$ on a different vacation/cruise line. It was our 10-year wedding anniversary—time away from our children—and we had high expectations. It was kind of a drag. We loved Mexico and left feeling as though we should have booked a direct flight straight to Cabo—maybe next time we will. We didn't have a bad time, but we did feel some disappointment. When we booked our cruise, we were asked the occasion, RCI did not even acknowledge our 10-year anniversary. We did not necessarily expect them to, but don't understand the point of their inquiries if they are not even going observe our special date. I highly recommend Mexico, but would suggest a different cruise line/ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
I want to be fair in this review so I am writing down what I enjoyed and what I did not like. I would not go on a Royal Caribbean cruise again because I enjoy dancing and look forward to the nightlife. There was dancing on this ship but it ... Read More
I want to be fair in this review so I am writing down what I enjoyed and what I did not like. I would not go on a Royal Caribbean cruise again because I enjoy dancing and look forward to the nightlife. There was dancing on this ship but it never started until midnight. The DJ was awful and never played by requests. We walk into the lounge at 10:30PM, still hearing slow music from Sade and no DJ, then the dancing would begin at midnight and by then, we were so darn tired! I recommend that the cruise begin dancing immediately after dinner. The food was terrific, and the European desserts were the best. I can not say enough about the food. Even though I had an inside stateroom, it was absolutely perfect. I slept so well, the beds are foam like and slept like a baby every night. With this ship being smaller, I felt everything, and I mean every wave that could be felt. The best thing about the cruise was the dining and listening to the music of a pianist, she was so terrific, she sang a lot of the older music slower tunes. If you want it slow, then I do recommend this cruise, if you like nightlife, stay home. This ship will offer it but not until after midnight and by then, who has the energy?? If I ever book another cruise again, I am going to doublecheck on the times of the activities. I worked out every morning, and if you want a treadmill, they are limited between the times of 6 - 10AM. There are exercise classes at 8AM and forget about joining, the small floor is just too packed. The Solarium was beautiful and relaxing but often had a hard time finding a seat. I ALWAYS got an empty hot tub which I thought was pretty neat for being on a cruise ship with all those people. The rock climbing wall was only opened 2 hours during the day so I never got to the climbing. It is very cold on the ship, especially when you come back from Mexico. Bring a couple of sweatshirts and dress warm. I left my toddler at home and really wished I brought him. This cruise was slow enough to where I really wanted him around. I went with friends and still just really bummed with the entertaining on this ship. I do recommend it for people who do want a very SLOW pace. The ports were fine, everything is a challenge to get to a certain place, taxi to the beach, etc, you just did not seem to have enough time to do anything. When I got back, I immediately started researching vacations on the "Fun Ship", never tried out Carnival so think I will look into this. Happy Sailing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2004
This was our third year in a row taking a cruise during Thanksgiving week, with the first two times being on Princess. Although we were happy with Princess and it was the same itinerary on the Mexican Riviera, we wanted to try another ... Read More
This was our third year in a row taking a cruise during Thanksgiving week, with the first two times being on Princess. Although we were happy with Princess and it was the same itinerary on the Mexican Riviera, we wanted to try another cruise line. We were quite looking forward to the trip as we had splurged and reserved a premium balcony suite. We were pleasantly surprised that we had a special check-in line that allowed us to bypass the hour-long line for regular check-in. Entering the suite, 8th deck, suite 8506, the room was pleasant enough. By cruise standards, the room was large, approximately 350 sq feet with more than enough closet space. The bathroom was a normal, full-size size with a full shower tub. The other first impression upon entering the room was that the view through the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door was wonderful but the glass was filthy. The balcony was also quite spacious and had a table with two chairs and two padded lounge chairs. Again the glass balcony panels were quite dirty. The first 15 minutes were spent cleaning the windows. The carpeting was a little worn and the bed not particularly comfy but good enough. Although we embarked at 1:30, we didn't received our luggage until 6:30. As we looked at the "Compass" detailing the available activities for the first day of the cruise, we noticed that there did not appear to be any movies showing that night. We had enjoyed this feature on Princess, and assumed that it would be standard on RCL. We soon learned that RCL does not show movies in an auditorium, but were nonetheless pleased to see that our suite was equipped with both a VCR and a DVD player connected to the TV. We then went to the purser's desk to find out where videos and DVD's could be rented. Believe it or not, we were told that there was no such service on board. Instead, the woman at the purser's desk looked genuinely surprised and commented on what a great idea that would be. Although we had signed up for the early 6pm dinner seating, in order to switch from a table with other people and families to a table for two, we had to check in with the maitre d'. The dining room was quite busy with other people who wanted to rearrange their dinner seatings. Although we were able to get a table for 2, it was only available at the 8:30 seating. Dinner attire for the first evening was casual. On RCL, "casual" attire really is casual. People wore jeans, t-shirts and shorts and basically looked like slobs in a very nice, formal dining room. Our "dinner" table was rather uncomfortable. Because the cruise was fully booked, they had to set out additional tables where tables weren't intended to be set. Our "dinner" table was actually a game table with tablecloth over it. We discovered this right away because the top was not flat, making is difficult to keep glasses from sitting off-kilter and spilling. We managed to work around this problem, once we zeroed in on the spots where glasses should not be placed. The other problem with the table could not be addressed so easily. The table base was large and bulbous and made it impossible for two people to comfortably rest their legs beneath the table. This left us with two choices. The first was to extend our legs out to the side. This was not practicable, however, because our feet were then in the path of the countless servers using the thoroughfare in which our table had been placed. The second choice was to straddle the table base throughout the meal. The result was that we felt bowlegged by the end of dinner, as though we'd just finished a long ride on horseback. Although the server and assistant server at dinner the first night were nice enough, the dining experience bordered on poor. Our entrEe, shrimp ravioli, was simply bad. It tasted fishy to the point of being inedible, and we didn't have more than one bite. The assistant server apologized and asked us if she could make up for it by offering us coffee. So we asked for cappuccinos to go with dessert. Although she had offered, she informed us that cappuccinos came from the bar and thus she would have to charge us for them. After dinner cappuccinos on Princess are complimentary. Both our server and assistant server would both disappear into the galley for 5-10 minutes at a time which would leave everyone in our section looking around for them. By no stretch of the imagination were we the only people in our section who felt this way. Assuming that our first night dining experience was an isolated incident, we made our way back to the Aquarius Dining Room the next morning for breakfast. The service seemed slow to everyone at our table of eight, but cruising is a leisurely activity anyway, so no one seemed too bothered by it. What did bother me and others at our table was the manner in which the food was served. Several of us ordered cereal, as one might expect at breakfast. What we did not realize at first was that when the server brought the cereal, he simultaneously brought out everyone's hot breakfast (bacon & eggs, eggs Benedict, etc.) and put them on the sideboard while we all ate our cereal. Some 5-10 minutes later, the server cleared the cereal bowls and served us all with our now stone-cold "hot" breakfasts which, conveniently for him, were already right there on the sideboard. As soon as we discovered this, the waiter was nowhere to be seen. We sat there for another five minutes waiting for him to return in the hopes that we might get some hot food. While we were waiting, we took the opportunity to fill out the comment card from the table, requesting in writing that our dinner table be changed to something other than a card table. On the way out of the dining room, we gave our written request about the dinner table to the head waiter. He told us in an off-hand way that the cruise was fully booked and they did not have enough dining tables but that he would see what they could do. We didn't have dinner in the dining room at our assigned table for several days again but nonetheless, they didn't do anything about the table nor did they even acknowledge that we had filled out a comment card. A guest at the same table told us that this was her 21st cruise on RCL and even she couldn't get a 6:00 dinner-seating assignment. I thought that said a lot about how RCL doesn't seem to care much about customer loyalty. To save the annoyance of having to eat at 8:30 every night at an uncomfortable table and putting up with slow, inattentive service, we ended up eating at the buffet and ordering room service for the rest of the week for all but one night. Service in the dinner buffet was equally spotty. The beverage station was in an off-limits area but the servers seemed too busy to offer drinks because they were clearing tables. Food was fresh and hot if you arrived during the first hour of dinner service. After that, the food was dry and lukewarm, although it was served from a steam table. They had two carving and fresh prep stations but these were often unmanned and you'd have to catch someone's attention to be served there. Only a very small area of the Windjammer Cafe, where the dinner buffet was set up, was opened for dinner service. Although the entire cafe was large, the small area that was opened made it difficult to find a clean available table. On the sixth night of the cruise, we decided to give the dining room another try. On the way to dinner, we stopped by one of the lounges (the Showboat Lounge) for a pre-dinner coffee at 8:00, which gave us half an hour. We ordered a cappuccino and Irish coffee, both of which were featured on the drink menu sitting on the table and specifically for the Showboat Lounge. The server came back ten minutes later with the drinks. (This is not an exaggeration - by this point we had actually started timing things as sort of an amusing pastime.) The amount of alcohol in the Irish coffee was virtually undetectable and was sent back along with a request for sugar for the cappuccino. It was a full 15 minutes before he came back. We told him that we were now late for dinner and wanted a credit for the both coffees. Rather than simply apologize for the delay, he argued that they had run out of sugar in this lounge and he had had to run down to the dining room for sugar. His attitude was that the delay was our fault because we had ordered coffees instead of drinks from the bar, even though coffees were plainly on the menu for this particular lounge. Food from the Solarium pool grill (burgers, pizza, hotdogs) was satisfactory. Although the grill was popular, it was always understaffed though with only one single person behind the counter. I ordered a hotdog and fries on the first day and the server didn't even bother to put the wiener inside the bun. I tried to order an Oreo shake from the menu on the third day and was told they were out of Oreos. Throughout the cruise, it seemed the room attendants and all of their supplies were constantly ubiquitous. For the first four days, until we requested that she move it, our room attendant's entire cleaning cart with her bags of dirty towels seemed parked right outside our door. I guess we had expected that service for the premium suites would be better and by experienced attendants. Even during the last two days, she repeatedly called me by the wrong name. RCL touts their "gourmet" food selections and menus. Instead, while food looked good enough, flavor was rather bland and selection was limited to ordinary fare. No rack of lamb, beef Wellington nor king crab legs here. The highest end entrEe of the week, surf and turf, was a big disappointment. The "steak" was not filet mignon nor any other decent cut but a cut from a shoulder which was tough and cooked well beyond medium rare as requested. In other words, it was a steak that you would expect on Bingo night. All entrees and courses for the entire section served by the server was brought out all at once. Thus from the time that the first person to the last person received their dishes, it would easily be five minutes by which time entrees would be lukewarm. Salads were set out by the server but you would have to wait 5 minutes until the assistant server brought the salad dressing around. Bread was not brought by and drinks were not refilled unless requested. Although the dessert descriptions sounded good and they looked delicious, they equally average tasting. Entertainment aboard the ship in the main theater was mediocre. The singers and dancers were actually quite good but the sets, customs and shows seemed dated and a bit cheesy. I would equate them to what you would see if you were to attend an American Idols show. Productions on Princess were higher quality and involved dramatic sets and lifts and effects. We were glad when the cruise ended. One last annoyance was that we had expected our baggage tag group to be among the first groups to be scheduled to disembark (just as first and business class disembark first off an airplane). Instead, after waiting 1.5 hours for the majority of other the groups to disembark, we finally got in line to disembark even though our group hadn't been called yet. The bottom line was that although the ship and facilities themselves were nice, the average to low food quality and poor service made this cruise experience less than enjoyable. Throughout the cruise, we wished that we had taken Princess again instead. After having cruised twice on Princess and being able to compare the two lines, it was obvious that Princess was noticeably superior in every way. While the staff on both Princess ships went out of their way to please and food was memorable, on the Vision, food was forgettable and the service was inexperienced and, at times, sullen. Read Less
Sail Date November 2003
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