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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We wanted a winter getaway and when we saw that Royal Caribbean was sailing out of New Orleans we decided to give them a try. We liked the fact that the drive from St. Louis to New Orleans was usually an easy drive down I-55, It was not ... Read More
We wanted a winter getaway and when we saw that Royal Caribbean was sailing out of New Orleans we decided to give them a try. We liked the fact that the drive from St. Louis to New Orleans was usually an easy drive down I-55, It was not so this time as 10 miles out of Memphis traveling 75 miles per hour we hit a hawk that shattered our windshield and we had to continue with a damaged windshield all the way to NOLA. We did arrive safe and after spending the night in NOLA we boarded the ship. Having cruised many times the boarding was just about what we expected despite the fact that our boarding agent was a trainee. My wife and I are easy going and if someone is trying to do their job we give them a lot of latitude. With all the new ships being built it seems strange to call a ship that holds 2500 passengers one of the smaller ship but actually I found that I liked the idea of fewer passengers, My wife had been on the Allure of the Seas with our granddaughter and she commented how crowded the public rooms were on the Allure all the time, The ship is a little tired looking but I did not find it off putting but it could use an update. It has been awhile since we cruised on Royal C and I was surprised to find extra charges in the main dining room for upgraded meals along with them trying to sell upgrades of the speciality dining. I found this a little off putting, but did not pressure you. We did purchase the drinks package and my wife took the Wi-Fi package since she is a professional actress in St Louis and was in the process of being cast in a major production in March. I don't know how we came out money wish on the drink package but I do know we had a lot to drink. All the crew that we interacted with we friendly and pleasant. The only problem we encountered was with guest services, In Key West we arranged to have the windshield replaced Saturday morning at 9:00 in NOLA for our drive back to St. and since we were parked in the overflow lot I was concerned as to how we got to that lot with our luggage. We were told to take the shuttle which after getting on same found it did not stop at that lot. We paid the shuttle driver to get us as close to the lot as she could and then we hoofed our luggage to the lot. Guest services seemed to be uninterested in our problem, only bad mark of entire cruise. Food was about what we expected, cabin was kept clean and neat, public rooms were clean as were dinning rooms and buffets. We got off the ship at all stops but only to walk around as we did not book any excursion To sum it up I think that all in all it was a nice getaway and that the crew of Royal C did a fine job. As I said we are easy to please and we don't go out of our way to find fault or look for tings to nit pick, We were fortunate to have pleasant companions at our dining table and again being a "smaller" ship made it easier to get a table at the buffets, around the pool and public rooms. The one highlight of the entertainment was the Thriller Dance. The passengers that took part in the dance really worked hard and the fact that they were made up to look like zombies was a nice touch. The casino had a live dealer at the Texas Holdem table and that too was a nice touch and again being a smaller ship we were able to get a seat at the table. Along with our harrowing drive down we found when we got off the ship that there was a snow storm in St Louis and they had 15" of snow. After waiting 2 hours for or windshield to be replaced we started home after, We debated staying in NOLA but decided to drive till we hit snow, We got within 20 miles of our home and were able to limp home arriving safe and sound.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We a RCCL cruise as a gift from a local casino and chose Vision out of NOLA since it's a drivable distance. Embarkation was quick and easy and we only had to wait about 30 minutes before cabin was ready. We enjoy the smaller ships so ... Read More
We a RCCL cruise as a gift from a local casino and chose Vision out of NOLA since it's a drivable distance. Embarkation was quick and easy and we only had to wait about 30 minutes before cabin was ready. We enjoy the smaller ships so immediate liked Vision and the layout of the ship. The ship had recently been refreshed with new carpets, wall coverings, deck loungers, etc. We had what appeared to be new mattresses which were very nice. The safe also looked new and was very easy to set up with a 4 digit code rather than swiping a card. The Windjammer buffet was set-up with salads, fruit and hot food choices on two lines, one on each side of kitchen area which meant lines moved quickly and we rarely had to wait. Another area before getting to tables was set up with sandwiches and taco making for lunch and dinner and omelets or freshly prepared eggs for breakfast. Across from it was another area that had pancakes, waffles, etc at breakfast and at lunch and dinner hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, etc. Everything was kept at proper temps. In the center of dining area, there were desserts for lunch and dinner and pastries and cereals for breakfast. We chose my time dining which was on deck 5 just above the set time dining room. We liked the layout since there was a large opening in the center of deck 5 dining area that allowed a spacious feeling and ability to enjoy any entertainment happening in the deck 4 dining room. Our wait staff was the best we've ever had with Rama as head waiter, Remy as waiter and Jocqaim as asst waiter. Being a waiter in my time dining room can be a real challenge and these guys made us feel like we were their only table. Food was all very good and hubby enjoyed the Indian food many nights. We felt no need to pay for specialty dining on this cruise. It was very easy to get a table for two each night and once we had a good idea of when we wanted to dine, I made reservations. Even though the smaller ships don't have the extra activities the larger ships have, we felt the cruise director and his crew did a great job with activities. We found plenty to do and also found it to be a very relaxing cruise. There was live music in the centrum most of the time and the thriller dance classes were very popular. It was fun to see their final performance on last night. We would sail again on Vision with no second thoughts. We'll definitely consider a European cruise on Vision. This cruise was out of New Orleans with stops at Miami, Nassau and Key West. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked late, and this was what fit our budget. That should have been the first sign. The ship kept reminding me of "The Love Boat" then it occurred to me that it was almost that old of a ship. The styling, the dance floor, ... Read More
We booked late, and this was what fit our budget. That should have been the first sign. The ship kept reminding me of "The Love Boat" then it occurred to me that it was almost that old of a ship. The styling, the dance floor, the carpet... It all just seems styled in the 90s. Even though I'm sure the vision has had a refit since. I'm not a huge participant in cruise activities, and I'm not complaining about that, it just struck me as mediocre. The food was ok, not amazing. The bars were stocked with decent top shelf spirits, not the best. The service was ok to poor until we started hanging out with a diamond member. Then it got better. Over all, I had a good time, but it's not what I've come to expect from Royal Caribbean. It just seemed to be the bare minimum required. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this ship because friends were sailing on this ship at this time. We ended up being on different floors, not what we expected. The ship only had one dining room and seemed to lack the amenities that other ships have. We were in ... Read More
We chose this ship because friends were sailing on this ship at this time. We ended up being on different floors, not what we expected. The ship only had one dining room and seemed to lack the amenities that other ships have. We were in a handicapped room and did have a refrigerator and lots of room but it was located under the Windjammer Buffet. After 2 nights of not sleeping because of noise I spoke to someone in charge of this area... he got the noise to stop. I hope future ships have more insulation between floors. The bathroom had peeling paper on the door... needed attention. The staff was wonderful, especially our head and assistant waiters. They made dinner time a pleasure. This was a New Years cruise so there were lots of children. The running down the halls was a little hard to handle. Parents should get their kids to behave... The activities were geared towards families and had lots of participation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We wanted to try cruising without all the fuss of a larger ship. The Vision of the Seas was a lovely ship with a great crew! We easily were able to navigate and figure out where everything was. The Masquerade theater provided great ... Read More
We wanted to try cruising without all the fuss of a larger ship. The Vision of the Seas was a lovely ship with a great crew! We easily were able to navigate and figure out where everything was. The Masquerade theater provided great comedy entertainment and shows. It was a New Years cruise and the crew provided an awesome party! The service was divine. We were well taken care of and we did have a mishap. My 17 year old daughter smashed her finger in the door and we got to experience the med deck. They took excellent care of her and provided x-rays at no additional cost to us. She had actually fractured her finger in all this but the clinical crew were very helpful and accommodating and it did not ruin her time. The rest of the cruise all our stateroom staff would ask each day how our daughter was feeling. Those extra touches made us feel welcome and cared for! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We took a 7 day cruise out of New Orleans. We took this cruise for several reasons. The first reason is because it left from New Orleans. Since we live just outside of New Orleans, it is very convenient to just drive to get on the ship. ... Read More
We took a 7 day cruise out of New Orleans. We took this cruise for several reasons. The first reason is because it left from New Orleans. Since we live just outside of New Orleans, it is very convenient to just drive to get on the ship. The second reason is because it was a Royal Caribbean ship. We have sailed several times with this cruise line. We usually enjoy their ships. The third reason is because it was a New Year's Eve Cruise. Overall the cruise was enjoyable but there were some disappointments with this cruise ship. The entertainment was top notch. The music was good and the entertainers were awesome. Our cabin was very comfortable. We did not have a very attentive room steward. We also did not care for the food in the main dining room. We did not eat in any of the specialty restaurants. The ports were visited were very good except Miami. We landed in Miami on New Year's Day. Most of the tourist attractions were closed. This port was a change in our itinerary. Originally we were supposed to go to Coco Cay. We were very disappointed with the change in itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise because RCCL has not sailed from New Orleans in many years. Was very happy to see them back as it is only hours from home. Embarkation went fairly smoothly. They needed more people to manage the seating for priority ... Read More
I chose this cruise because RCCL has not sailed from New Orleans in many years. Was very happy to see them back as it is only hours from home. Embarkation went fairly smoothly. They needed more people to manage the seating for priority boarding area. The overall condition of the ship was good. I saw nothing to complain about. I had a balcony cabin (#7028) on port side near the front. Was skeptical at first about the location but it proved to be just fine! There were two of us in the cabin and we had more than enough storage available. Actually we didn't use some of it. I also appreciated that it had a full size sofa, not a short two seater like on other cruise lines. We had a mini fridge which I appreciated very much. The only thing I was not really happy with was the shower - small and the shower curtain had a tendency to stick to you when showering. They should replace the curtain with a shower door. For the most part the food was good but average with the exception of Chops Steakhouse which was very much worth the extra $$ paid. There was always something going on somewhere on the ship. Lots of trivia type games etc. The entertainment was good though I didn't go every night. As far as service was concerned, everywhere - cabin, Windjammer, bars, main dining room - it was exceptional. I have no complaints. We had three ports of call. Nassau, Key West and Miami (supposed to be Coco Cay but there is construction going on there). I didn't get off the ship in Nassau, been there, done that. Key West was a lot of fun with visits to the Hemingway House, Sloppy Joes, and Kermits Key Lime Pie. Not enough time to do it all, must go back! Miami didn't interest me so just went to Bayside Marketplace and shopped and stopped at Bubba Gumps and Tradewinds for drinks and people watching. Bubba Gumps has free wifi of which I partaked. My past 5 cruises have been on NCL (smaller, older ships) which I liked until the last one (bad service). I will definitely be looking to sail again on RCCL, just their smaller ships though. I do not like the mega amusement park ships. I also will not plan another New Years cruise - to many kids on board with parents who did not control them. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Had a wonderful cruise on the Vision over New Year's 2018/19. The food was great (too great, I gained weight for the first cruise of the last four!) And the service was amazing. While we enjoyed the "my time" dining, the ... Read More
Had a wonderful cruise on the Vision over New Year's 2018/19. The food was great (too great, I gained weight for the first cruise of the last four!) And the service was amazing. While we enjoyed the "my time" dining, the hostess were always accommodating if we wanted to dine a little earlier in the main dining room. We were seated in the same section each time, therefore the waiter and his associates were able to remember who we were and what we liked, not to mention our names! Our experience was great as well in the Windjammer. Tables were cleaned almost immediately after folks left or plates were emptied. Staff was always willing to help anyway they could. Entertainment was abound. There was always something to do. We ended up spending much time Schooner playing games (trivia, scattagories, etc.). Night entertainment was generally later than we liked (just can't stay up as late as I used to), so only heard one of the comedians, and he was great. Our cabin was a standard forward balcony. The storage in that cabin was amazing! We actually had storage areas we didn't even use! Shower was a bit small and the shower curtain liked to get a bit personal some days, but overall the layout of the lavatory was fine. We had just sailed on the Norwegian Star over Thanksgiving 2018 and were able to compare the two ships and crew and I must say, I was a Norwegian fan, but am now a Royal fan for sure. So, overall, I would highly recommend the Vision to anyone wishing to sail on a smaller ship with a wonderful captain and crew. I just wish they would stay in NOLA!!! If they would, I would certainly sail her again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The boat was smaller and much older than expected, ceiling ripped around the pool sitting area, can lights falling out in the dining room, most windows in the adult pool area are all corroded with salt buildup and rusted shut. Older carpet ... Read More
The boat was smaller and much older than expected, ceiling ripped around the pool sitting area, can lights falling out in the dining room, most windows in the adult pool area are all corroded with salt buildup and rusted shut. Older carpet and furniture in staterooms in need of a refresh. We had metal bits poking through our carpet. The Casino located inside the boat's interior allows smoking but does not have sufficient ventilation, resulting in most of the surrounding common areas and stateroom hallways smelling quite smoky. The volume of band music was uncomfortably loud in both the main pool area and also in the lobby of the ships open central area located near the Concierge desks. Such that every time we went to speak to the Concierge to book an excursion, dinner, talk to Next Cruise, or the Loyalty Ambassador, the overly loud volume was obnoxious and very difficult to hear what employees at their desks were saying. Employees also had difficulty communicating with guests over the high volume as well. Several of the food staff were coughing and sneezing directly on and around the guests and food, including servers at the formal restaurants we went to. Buffet food was okay, however the same items were provided each day with little variety. It seemed like some foods were 'recycled', for example if all the fish fillets were not consumed, the next meal we would see 'fish cakes', that looked like the same fillets chopped up and pressed into a patty and fried. Dining in the main seated dining room was fairly well serviced but most of our food arrived quite cold, soggy and fairly unappetizing. We enjoyed the Chef's Table experience which was by far the best food we had onboard. Embarkation and disembarkation process seemed to be well organized. Given our experience we would not recommend this cruise to friends. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our second cruise on the Vision, our last was in 2006. Our check-in at the Port of New Orleans was smooth and efficient. Although the ship is on of the smallest in the fleet, we did not find our selves crowded in. We could ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Vision, our last was in 2006. Our check-in at the Port of New Orleans was smooth and efficient. Although the ship is on of the smallest in the fleet, we did not find our selves crowded in. We could always find a place to sit back and relax and play cards. We always found a seat in the Windjammer regardless of the time of day. My time dinning was always available, we were quickly seated without reservations. Our cabin, 8519, was clean and comfortable. The A/C worked great. We found the food to some of the best overall we have enjoyed; both in the Windjammer and the main dinning room. The service was the best part. The wait staff in both the Windjammer and the dinning room was truly outstanding. Although we availed ourselves to my time dinning, we were set in the same area each night with the same waiters. They went out of there way to accommodate us, always there but not intrusive. They remembered our names and what we liked. Undoubtable, one of the best dinning experiences have had on any cruise. The ship being small was easy to get around. The entertainment was top notch. Two really good comedians along with excellent productions stage shows. They put together a special Christmas show for Christmas Eve that was greatly appreciated by all. The cruise director was great, one of the best we have observed. He was all over the place and was quite talented in his own right. Our port calls was the usual W. Caribbean which we have visited many times but we were on the cruise for the holidays and the ship. All in all, one of the best of the over 30 cruises we have enjoyed. We have had no bad cruises, they say a bad day on a cruise is better the a good day at work or home. :) Royal Caribbean was at the usual great performance. Happy New Year. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on Vision. We chose it for two reasons. We wanted to spend a day or two in New Orleans so we looked for a ship leaving from that port. We also wanted to be cruising rather than ... Read More
My husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on Vision. We chose it for two reasons. We wanted to spend a day or two in New Orleans so we looked for a ship leaving from that port. We also wanted to be cruising rather than dealing with any departure problems on December 23. Vision's itinerary was perfect. If you are "willing to share", breakfast in the Main Dining room is a great way to meet new people. The hot tubs in the adults only solarium are too. We visited with folks from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Others had come from India or the Philippines. Of course there were lots of folks from Texas, Alabama and Arkansas as well. The service on Vision was wonderful. Although I was warned the My Time Dining would mean that we would wait for a table and get a series of waiters, this did not prove to be the case. I made daily reservations to suit our schedule and Roberto and Manoj were always there to greet us. The food was wonderful in both the Main Dining room and in the Windjammer. The menu in the Main Dining room had many new and interesting options. It made each meal an adventure. However, I did find that I was able to make delicious, healthy choices in the Windjammer. We went to a show one night only, on a cruising night. After a day snorkeling or climbing a pyramid we were too tired to stay up late. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first Christmas Cruise and it was a fantastic time. We spent three nights in New Orleans, the city is amazing, The southern hospitality and the music makes it a must visit place. We boarded the Vision early and it was a ... Read More
This was our first Christmas Cruise and it was a fantastic time. We spent three nights in New Orleans, the city is amazing, The southern hospitality and the music makes it a must visit place. We boarded the Vision early and it was a very quick check in. This was the smallest ship that we had sailed on and we weren’t sure what to expect. It did not take long to realize that this ship ticked all the boxes. Incredible entertainment, friendly staff and great food. Cruise Director Steve and Events Manager Talita were brilliant, as were all their entertainment staff. For a small ship they packed in more than the far larger ships. The bar staff were excellent, especially Catalan and Renato. In fact every department were exceptional. A very happy crew. The Captain was around quite a bit and very approachable. The Christmas Eve carols in the Centrum was really nice.i could write all day about our fun week on the Vision. This was, by far, the best cruise that we have been on. See you soon, Royal. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I was so excited about Royal Caribbean bringing a cruise ship back to New Orleans that I booked 3 cruises for the short time the ship will be here. I want Royal to do well so they will bring a better ship here in the future. On this first ... Read More
I was so excited about Royal Caribbean bringing a cruise ship back to New Orleans that I booked 3 cruises for the short time the ship will be here. I want Royal to do well so they will bring a better ship here in the future. On this first cruise out of New Orleans, I sailed with a friend. If this had been my first cruise on Royal, I would never come back. Fortunately for Royal, this was my 24th cruise with Royal so I know they can do better. Vision of the Seas is a small, 20 year old ship. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the larger, newer ships. But that wasn’t the issue with this cruise. On Day 3 of the cruise, we came back from a shore excursion to see blowers in the hall and a card in the door from the floor supervisor. Our junior suite #8546 was in total disarray with a huge blower in the cabin. A pipe had broken in the wall and flooded the carpet in our cabin. They said they needed us to move to another junior suite on the other side of the ship for one night. They couldn’t move us for the rest of the cruise because someone had booked it and might show up in the next port!!! They would rather inconvenience us than a no show who may or may not show up! So we moved everything we needed to get ready for dinner and to sleep and cancelled our shore excursion for the next day since we needed to move back to our original cabin early in the day in case the mystery guests arrived in Roatan. In turns out we would not have wanted to stay in junior suite 8044 anyway because it was hot and located right under the ping pong tables. We ended up wasting the entire day. A day later, we came back into our cabin to wet carpet again. The floor supervisor claimed it was a different pipe this time. They decided to replace the carpet this time and were supposed to do it while we were at dinner. We came back after dinner to find the suite in total disarray again. Another call to the floor supervisor revealed that the carpet team was so busy cleaning carpets from seasick passengers that they didn’t have time to finish the job in our suite. At this point, we were just done! They eventually replaced the carpet and put the beds back in place. With much back and forth with the guest relations manager, we negotiated for a future cruise credit equal to what we paid for the cruise. At least Royal will get a do over for this disaster. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Susie and I chose this cruise as her birthday celebration. From the beginning and throughout the cruise we dealt with some of the best of cruising and some of the worst. We flew in (Southwest Airlines) day of the cruise without ... Read More
Susie and I chose this cruise as her birthday celebration. From the beginning and throughout the cruise we dealt with some of the best of cruising and some of the worst. We flew in (Southwest Airlines) day of the cruise without issue. Uber to the port. There is construction going on at the port and poorly marked directions led us to having to walk about a block to enter the terminal. Once inside it was mass confusion, we had to ask several people where to go to check in. The actual check in was relatively uneventful and quick. We were sent to the waiting lounge (sans the privacy and continental breakfast promised as benefit of being Crown and Anchor members) and told there would be a two hour wait to board. Ten minutes later, while looking for food, boarding began. We were able to board rather quickly and then faced with not being allowed into our cabin until 1:00 (It was about 11:00 am). We headed to the Windjammer even though we had just spent money at a small kiosk in the terminal for a sandwich and drink. The Windjammer was the first of several great experiences of the week. The Vision is a member of the smallest RC cruise ships with the smallest Windjammer in the fleet. In my opinion, it is also one of the BEST Windjammers in the fleet. The food was fresh, hot, tasty and plentiful. The crew in the Windjammer was friendly, helpful and available. These qualities were consistent throughout the cruise. Once we got to our cabin (3608) some of the negatives of this cruise began to appear. Our cabin attendant, Jason Morales, was not present and never came around to introduce himself (he left his card on the desk). Missing was our excursion tickets & robes. Calls to housekeeping were never answered (5 calls during the week). We had to go to the excursion desk to get our tickets. The cabin itself was clean and comfortable. During the week we saw our attendant exactly once. Several times during the week we had to find attendants to other cabins to get soap and toilet paper (we started out with less than half a roll). This lack of service was the worst we've ever experienced on any cruise. After unpacking, I was originally planning on hitting the hot tub while waiting to set sail. A walk by the pool, which was closed, changed that. Both hot tubs outside and the two in the Solarium were packed, mostly with kids. As this was our second time to sail on Vision there was little to explore. Being that we were on board as guests of the casino, we wondered down to meet the casino host. That's when we were hit with the second negative, the casino would not open until the next day, 8:00 am. This negative was perpetuated by the 4 hours of cruising the Mississippi River just to enter the Gulf. Add the hour or so to reach the 12 mile limit and I guess the casino doesn't find it profitable to open for just a few hours. Wondering back to our cabin we did notice how well the ship had been decorated for the holidays. Definitely a festive and joyful addition to the cruise. First night dining was at Giovanni's as part of a BOGO dining package that proved to be well worth the cost. Our next night was at Chop's (a better than Ruth's Chris experience). We ate again at Giovanni's our last night we liked it so much. I could spend the rest of this review on the fantastic food and service in these restaurants. Do yourself a favor on your next cruise and experience at least one of these specialty restaurants. We called it an early night since nothing was open as we sailed down the Mississippi. Day 2 -The next morning I arose early (6:30) to hit the hot tub and watch the sunrise. Imagine my surprise to find them closed. I think they were to open at 8:00. The Solarium hot tubs were open, but it's not quite the same, so I just went to an early breakfast in the Windjammer. After breakfast we got read for the day and headed to the casino. The casino on the Vision is just too small. We wanted to play 3 card poker but from that first morning on throughout the cruise a group of friends dominated the only 3 Card table in the room. No matter what time of day it was this same group was there. I even began to wonder if they ever ate or went to the bathroom. Most of the slots are older and few have jackpots over $1000. It was easy to get bored in the casino. Susie won a slot tournament only to find that her score was lower than the top five from other previous day's tournament, so booted from the finals. Didn't make sense. The drinks were free as a casino guest and were flowing well though we often had to go to the bar to get them. We rarely saw our casino host. Although we came out ahead, this was not one of our better casino experiences overall. We went to the Meet & Mingle which we always find fun. Later the Vets gathering. The first evening show was the Eagles tribute band "The Long Run". The only negative I have to say about it was the show was too short. These guys are phenomenal! I hope RC has contracted them for more shows on other ships. This concert was truly one of the best things about this cruise. Day 3 - Cozumel. We have been to Cozumel too many times on cruises so we opted to sleep in and forgo our planned excursion. We ventured into town for a little while, mainly to get off the boat. Pretty much the rest of the day was lazing around. Day 4 - Costa Maya. We booked the Power Snorkel excursion and had a blast. Although the reef in the ocean at Mahahual isn't the prettiest it was the perfect place to learn how to use a seascooter. Lots of fun zipping around looking at starfish, sea urchins and fish. An added treat (unknown at the time of booking) was the included use of the beach chairs, kayaks, freshwater pool, unlimited drinks, and a taxi ride back to the boat whenever we were ready to leave. I highly recommend this excursion. Day 5 - Roatan, Honduras. We were really looking forward to this port after watching the HGTV shows of the ex-pats moving to Roatan. The first thing I loved is how the ship docks right there, just a minimal number of steps from the island. As far as the island, the locals and the ocean was concerned, it was all better than we expected. Our excursion was the only disappointment. The Three Stop Snorkel Adventure was bad. To begin with, after a 30 minute ride to the beach, we had to wait another half hour for the boat, which was out on an earlier excursion. The boat itself looked like a converted water taxi, not a catamaran, which is a much better craft to use for snorkeling or diving. The difficulty getting on and off this boat ruined the experience. Susie was left with a huge bruise on her thigh from entering the water. In addition, no safety equipment on the boat. It was also pretty scary to watch these guys power up the boat and navigate through snorkelers no farther than 5 feet from the boat. As for the three stops, they were close enough to swim. Overall, a very bad experience. I DO NOT recommend the 3 Stop Snorkel Adventure. Getting back late to the ship didn't leave any time for exploring. Will definitely go back to Roatan, though next time won't take an excursion. In the evening an announcement was made that due to inclement weather we were changing course a bit to avoid some of the worst of it's aftermath. (This decision on the Empress of the Seas made for a Christmas Miracle) Soon after the announcement we started to feel some churning of the seas. Dinner was in the main dining room, excellent meal. Day 6 & 7 - Cruising. My favorite days normally. Day 6 started out fine, no early morning outside hot tub though. I opted for the Solarium hot tub and found it empty. Seems a lot of folks must have been sleeping in or were feeling too much of the sea's motion. Some time in the sauna helped start the day. Susie took to the sauna too, though she found underage children inside. Where is the crew and why aren't they enforcing the rules? The rest of the day was spent between lounging around and hitting the Casino. We attended a Veterans luncheon in the main dining room as the ocean started to really get rough. By mid afternoon, we were getting swells of around 15 feet which grew to 23 feet by evening. Surprisingly, the ocean never discouraged our 3 Card Poker hogs. Otherwise, the casino was fairly empty. As long as I was sitting I barely noticed the movement. Susie felt a little queasy. I watched Christmas Vacation while Susie stayed in the casino. By dinnertime we decided to pretty much stay in our cabin since we felt less movement there, but we still needed to eat. Being formal night, which we usually don't attend, the dining room was out of the question. After much debate over room service, I ventured out of the cabin to scout out the Windjammer. There was some serious movement up there, but the food looked delicious and I was able to convince Susie to make her way up. Once we got our food and were seated the motion was less noticeable. The crew, about half of whom were getting seasick, offered up crackers, green apples and lemons to help us with our motion issues. After an excellent meal we slowly made our way downstairs back to our cabin. We ventured out for a little more casino time yet still unable to get on the 3 Card Poker table. Not even sure if there was a show that evening as after a short while in the Casino we called it a night. Day 6 we awoke to some pretty serious seas. Breakfast in the dining room was great then back to the room until around noon. Spent most of the day in the casino with a little time taken later in the day in the Solarium as the sea started to calm. Dinner was back at Giovanni's (love the homemade gnocchi) and then a last few hours in the casino. Day 7 - Back in NOLA, disembarking was fast and smooth. Easiest I've ever had. Overall, this was just an OK cruise. Personally, I'm going to try to avoid these small ships from now on. Too few activities on board. Steve, the Cruise Director, was only seen on tv. Most of the crew lacked any enthusiasm, simply going through the motions. One other thing was that Susie became Emerald on day 2 of the Cruise. There was absolutely no acknowledgement. I also am going to avoid NOLA for an embarkation port. Too much time lost to sailing the Mississippi. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise as it was the first for Royal leaving from New Orleans after years of being gone. We were excited to be back on a Royal cruise. No cruise is a bad cruise, BUT this ship was quite boring. There wasn't much to do ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was the first for Royal leaving from New Orleans after years of being gone. We were excited to be back on a Royal cruise. No cruise is a bad cruise, BUT this ship was quite boring. There wasn't much to do during the day unless you gamble or during the ports go on excursions. The dining options were minimal and if you chose the dining room during sea day, they didn't have the entire dining room open. You had to wait for a long while. They are constantly trying to get you to go to the specialty dining restaurants for the up-charge. The food was not good. We were very disappointed in the quality of food and the overall dining experience. SLOW!!! The shows in the evening were not even that great. We had the Eagles experience and these singers looked like they should be called the Geritol Band! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We traveled the week before Christmas with our two kids 10 & 13. We had a wonderful time because that is what we made it! Though there were some cons, we figure life is what you make it. Pros: Service. The service was ... Read More
We traveled the week before Christmas with our two kids 10 & 13. We had a wonderful time because that is what we made it! Though there were some cons, we figure life is what you make it. Pros: Service. The service was amazing. Everyone from our room steward to the dining staff did everything they could to ensure we were happy and taken care of. Our daughter is sensitive to gluten and she couldn't have been happier about how the dining staff took care of her. Christopher in the main dining room brought her the next nights menu every night and said he would make anything she wanted GF (if it was possible). He even made sure she had warm toasted GF bread every time she sat down in the dining room and GF pancakes at breakfast. Our servers were amazing as well. They remembered our names, what we liked, and greeted us like old friends every time we came to the dining room. Those people work so hard, be sure to tip them extra! We had some super rough seas the second to last day which made our daughter and I sea sick. The dining room staff sent my husband out with cut up green apples and GF bread for our daughters upset stomach. The waiter in the centrum who ran out of canned ginger ale, went out of his way to find some fresh ginger in the kitchen, cut it up,and put it in fountain ginger ale to try to help her. The staff continually went out of their way for us. The food. We rarely ate at the Windjammer because of our GF daughter, and I'm not a fan of buffets. Our son enjoyed the variety and the kid type foods there though. We tried to eat in the main dining room as much as we could. The food was delicious in the dining room and our son was so happy to be able to enjoy escargot, crab cakes, salmon, shrimp, spaghetti and clams, etc. The only thing that could have made it better was flavored coffee creamer with the coffee. The port stops. We scheduled excursions on our own and made the most of every port stop. We had so much fun and made lots of memories with our kids. We swam with dolphins, enjoyed an all inclusive at a beautiful beach, snorkeled, and even held a sloth! The room. We had a cheap interior room but our room steward made it up twice a day. It was small but comfortable and met our needs. We didn't go on a cruise to stay in the room. We mostly just needed a place to sleep and shower. This served our purpose. Cons: Activities: There simply weren't enough things going on. We spent time trying to find things to do. A few "trivia" run by an annoying guy and a few other paid events like bingo or events geared toward the older crowd, but that was about it. We had rough seas the last few days and the pool was drained and closed. There simply wasn't anything to do except try not to focus on the ship tossing back and forth. Its a good thing we brought cards. We spent a lot of ship time playing UNO and Phase 10. The highlight was the egg drop (our family participated) and watching the Thriller dance. Get there early if you want to be able to see, even on the upper floors. Kids clubs: The kids refused to go into the kids areas after the first night since my 10 yo said he was "with the babies" (both the older and younger groups are mixed together in a small area and do the activities together). The teenager said the few kids who showed up to the teen "meet and greet" the first night just sat around on their phones and there were no planned activities. After that, she didn't go back. The ice cream machine: My kids were enamored with the idea of ice cream any time they wanted it. It was down more than it was working. Debarkation: We carried our own bags off of the ship. It was an absolute mess. Lines flowing into lines with no clear entrance or exit. People skipping the line, lines weaving all over the ship where just anyone could jump in even though we'd been waiting over 40 minutes. They need a MUCH better system for this! It took us almost an hour of waiting to get off. Overall: Overall we had a good time. The captain did his best despite the awful weather the last few days. (Our whole cabin was creaking and we were literally sliding around in our beds.) It was actually kind of scary. I'd say half of the ship was sick. We enjoyed ourselves on the port stops so much that the ship was really secondary. We would cruise RC again but maybe on a ship that has more to offer. We have already booked a NCL that has water slides and lots of stuff for kids next year. Our kids can't wait! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Our first Caribbean cruise went very well. The Vision of the Seas isn't a new ship but it is very well maintained. The food was superb, the service excellent, lots of entertaining. We faced a very stormy weather for one entire day and ... Read More
Our first Caribbean cruise went very well. The Vision of the Seas isn't a new ship but it is very well maintained. The food was superb, the service excellent, lots of entertaining. We faced a very stormy weather for one entire day and the ship swayed a lot. My wife got motion sick and crew member gave us a miraculous pill that helped us to heal faster. Two issues they can easily get fixed: 1. The cigarrete smell at the casino should be controled by installing glass slidind doors both edges. 2. Mold smell in the steam sauna. Otherwise, a great ship, a great crew and a wonderful itinerary. Ports of call at Cozumel, Costa Maya and Roatan are excellent choices. This was a family-oriented cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and fast. The Captain is accessible, absolutely knowlegeable and participates in a lot of cruise activities and dinners. Restaurants are excellent. Great food and an unique gourmet experience. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We had a package which included 4 days in New Orleans and 2 days in Copenhagen. We had a great cruise... food ...entertainment and the crew were all excellent, We had 13 days around the Caribbean and what a glorious cruise and ports, ... Read More
We had a package which included 4 days in New Orleans and 2 days in Copenhagen. We had a great cruise... food ...entertainment and the crew were all excellent, We had 13 days around the Caribbean and what a glorious cruise and ports, Our next Port was Boston and we found it to be a lovely city. 2 days out of Boston we celebrated an Anzac day dawn service with the few Aussies on board and then a 10am service in the lounge area and other guests from different countries joined in. The crew were fabulous and helpful and they made our day a successful one, The ports through the British isles were interesting as were the European ports and we did a few ship tours which were great. There wasn't any children on board probably because of the length of the cruise. We didn't attend any enrichment activities so I can't say anything about that........ Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was a 13 night repositioning from New Orleans to Boston via the Southern Caribbean - Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, St Maarten, St Thomas. Although RCI tries to ensure that the standards are exactly the same on every ship, this ... Read More
This was a 13 night repositioning from New Orleans to Boston via the Southern Caribbean - Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, St Maarten, St Thomas. Although RCI tries to ensure that the standards are exactly the same on every ship, this Pinnacle member thought that much on Serenade was "just a little bit better" than RCI's norm. Unfortunately we started off with the very worst Airport Meet/Greet that I have ever had. There was no representative in the Luggage Hall where you usually meet them; however a unobtrusive sign directed me to another building, the Transportation Center, where a completely disinterested and sullen RCI rep told me that a bus would be there in 10 min. Sixty-five minutes later a bus finally arrived and so we were finally off to the ship for a very easy check-in and boarding as it was now mid afternoon and most people were already aboard. Other complaints - the absolute worst Internet of all RCI ships, Room Stewards did not come up to go to work until after 9 am, the WORST Windjammer lunch food that I have ever had (and Windjammer was the only option open at noon on in-port days), no wines at less than $30 per bottle, service charge now raised to 18%, less than 50 books in their Book Nook" (Libraries were abandoned on RCI years ago. (they didn't "make money) of which 40 were in German. Compliments - food in all other venues "just a little better" than RCI's norm, wonderful crew morale, excellent canapés/snacks plus drinks at Meet and Mingle event, special luncheon on last day for Cruise Critic members, an Orchid Plant in my stateroom, restoration of Captain's leaving port and mid-day announcements, wonderful Formal Private Dinner for Pinnacle members along with many additional Pinnacle benefits, although the two Production Shows are old and tired they were good, better than average Headliner performers, a lecturer (something that RCI does not usually have aboard), a Catholic priest aboard for daily worship services (something RCI is only lately providing on many of their cruises). As this was a longer cruise and a repositioning, their were over 1450 C&A members aboard including 270 Diamond Plus and 35 Pinnacles. This makes for a completely different and more mature atmosphere aboard - a far cry from the "Spring Break" party cruises that the ship had been doing previously. I had a most enjoyable trip and would say that Radiance Class ships are my favorite on RCI, and Serenade, along with Jewel, are the best of the class. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
A Long Winded Serenade of the Seas Review 4-11-15 "The One Who Must Be Obeyed and I just returned from a fantastic thirteen night repositioning cruise from New Orleans to Boston last Saturday. Background We are both retired ... Read More
A Long Winded Serenade of the Seas Review 4-11-15 "The One Who Must Be Obeyed and I just returned from a fantastic thirteen night repositioning cruise from New Orleans to Boston last Saturday. Background We are both retired educators in our mid-sixties. This was our twenty-fifth cruise, our fifth with RCCL, and our first on The Serenade of the Seas. Pre-cruise We got into New Orleans four days early to enjoy the city and stayed at the Prytania Park Hotel in the Garden District where we met several other members from our roll call. We made the most of our visit and took trips to the countryside to see the gators and tour two plantations. Since I operate a streetcar from New Orleans at the Lowell National Historical Park, I got up early one morning and spent two hours riding sister cars on the St. Charles Line. We were there during a French Quarter Music Fest and took time to enjoy the free live music venues. We had a great dinner cruise on the steamboat Natchez with live music. The highlight of our four day stay was a visit to the World War II Museum, a must see in New Orleans. We arrived shortly after it opened and they "threw us out" at closing! Check-in and Boarding We arrived at the pier at around 10:30 a.m. via cab, deposited our luggage with the porters and then started the check-in process which was very efficient. While other RCCL cruises have given us a number to be used in boarding, this time they were calling by Crown and Anchor status. When the "gold's" were called it seem as if it was 75% of the waiting area that responded. People were pleasant and we were on deck five of the ship hearing the "ding" of our sea pass being scanned in no time. The problem came with them sending everyone through a narrow door where many folks were making MTD reservations. This caused a huge back-up and the ship's photographers added to the situation. After some hurry-up and wait, we finally made it through to the centrum lobby. We enjoyed a nice lunch at the Windjammer Café. Although it was somewhat crowded, we knew enough to head back to the outdoor tables aft where we met the first of several new acquaintances. Our Cabin Shortly after lunch, it was announced that cabins were ready. We were in #9536 forward on Deck nine which is a "Superior Ocean View Balcony" for what it is worth. It was very spacious and had plenty of storage and closet space with sufficient hangers. There was a full sized couch which gave us plenty of room to relax. The balcony had two chairs and the standard small table. We found that our luggage had already arrived and we put everything away as me darling wife feels that the cruise does not really being until everything is stored. We are "low maintenance" cruisers and when we met our cabin steward our only requests were for ice daily (for our two bottles of champagne and soda that we brought aboard with us) and a blanket as I love to sit out on the balcony at night and knew that it would get chilly as we moved up the east coast. Safety Drill and Setting Sail RCCL no longer requires you to wear your life vest to the safety drill, but you do report to your muster station (ours was outside on deck five) where attendance is taken and you have the short safety talk and jacket demonstration. After the drill was over, we waited for the crowd to clear and we headed to the Centrum Lounge to enjoy a cool drink and listen to some music. We returned to our cabin to sit on our balcony for the sail away. Having sailed out of other ports where you are almost immediately at sea, sailing out of New Orleans is different as it takes six hours or more to reach the Gulf of Mexico, although it took us much longer. When we woke up the next morning, we were still on the river and could see land. We were supposed to be in the Gulf. It seems as though a Chinese barge had become stuck ahead of us and we had anchored on the Mississippi for the night. By 9 a.m. or so, tugs had freed the barge and we were on our way! The Ship I believe that The Serenade of the Seas goes back to 2003 which makes it one of the older ships in the fleet. Nonetheless, it is in excellent shape. We noticed very little wear and tear. It is a smaller ship and we found it very easy to get around and as a result we were familiar with it by the second day. There are only two banks of public elevators, the main bank in the centrum area and a smaller bank in the forward area which was just a short walk to our cabin. At times you had to wait a minute or two for an elevator, but it was no big deal. The first and last day of course caused longer waits as folks boarded and disembarked. We were told that the ship was only 2/3 full which may have helped the situation. At no time did we feel crowded. In addition to our balcony, our two favorite spots to relax were on the deck five promenade and in the Vortex Lounge on deck thirteen which had excellent views and was a great place to enjoy quiet. Cruise Critic Roll Call Activities This had to have been one of the most active roll calls that we have experienced. As a result there were many activities organized by roll call members on sea days. Our "Meet and Mingle" must have had close to 200 in attendance. The ship provided complimentary champagne and mimosas along with some delicious snacks. The assistant CD was present to welcome us and a variety of door prizes were awarded. One of our roll call members organized the purchase of refrigerator magnets for $1 each and these made for nice souvenirs. Another made special name tags for all of us and yet another purchased plastic holders for them which we wore at roll call organized events. It was nice to be able to put names with faces. We had around fifty of us participate in a slot pull and each of us came out $7 ahead of the game! There was a cabin crawl where some of us were impressed with the suite and aft balcony cabins. Dining We must admit that we ate too much, but thoroughly enjoyed the offerings on the ship. Main Dining Room--We had My Time Dining and had dinner in the MDR on ten of the thirteen nights. We did not make reservations, but never had to wait more than a minute or two for a table. We arrived between 7:30 and 8 p.m. each night. We were so impressed with our waiter, Francis, that we requested his area each night and were always accommodated. His service was outstanding. We sat at a table for two each night and usually next to the same folks, so we had a chance to strike up some conversations. Now we know that food is subjective and have found the food to be okay, but not spectacular in the MDR on past RCCL ships. The Serenade has really kicked it up a few notches and we were never disappointed and had some great dishes. Specialty Restaurants--Since this was a thirteen night cruise, we took advantage of the offer of 20% off of the specialty restaurants if you booked in advance for three nights. We dined in Chops twice and Giovanni's once and enjoyed excellent food and service. Breakfast--We had breakfast most days in the Windjammer Cafe and usually found a table outside of the aft where it was less crowded and had great ocean views. The offerings were excellent even if it did mean that our cholesterol levels increased. I enjoyed the omelet station in particular. The eggs and breakfast meats can be too much every day on a longer cruise, thus we went to the Park Cafe in the solarium pool for lighter fare such as bagels and cream cheese on some days. Lunch--We enjoyed the Windjammer for lunch on most days even if the offerings were somewhat heavy. Whereas on past RCCL ships, hamburgers have been like hockey pucks, we found them to be much better this time around. The Park Cafe offers lighter fare and on a couple of days we enjoyed salads and sandwiches with chips! Desserts--Okay, I have a sweet tooth! In the past we have found that RCCL ships have offered way too many gelatin based desserts for our tastes. There has been a major improvement in this area. Evening Entertainment Having been on many cruises, we are just no longer wowed by the singers and dancers. We realize that they work hard, but it is not something we enjoy, thus we did not go to the shows every night. We did very much enjoy the comedy if Alfred and Seymour. These guys kept us in stiches. Donovan and Rebecca proved to be terrific acrobats. The demographics of our cruise saw most of us in our sixties and above, thus the retro fifties music of The Diamonds was very popular. On the other hand, if we had to have paid extra to see the magic show of Justino and Daniela, I would have asked for my money back! We looked forward to Segundo's guitar classics in the centrum each evening. We watched the movie "Fury" under the stars on the Lido Deck one evening and enjoyed it. Other excellent film offerings included "The Theory of Everything" and "The Imitation Game" which we had seen in the past. On Board Activities We don't feel the need to have non-stop activities on board as we are content with sitting, reading, and watching the ocean go by. I did get through five novels! We did enjoy the morning progressive trivia on all of the sea days. We had the same great team each day and won several daily prizes and brought back a collection of highlighters, luggage tags, and ball point pens. Out of the fifteen or so teams, we came in a close second, thus we did not win the grand prize baskets, but we very much enjoyed the experience. I was reading and resting in the late afternoon or taking a swim in the solarium pool, but "The One Who Must Be Obeyed" did go up to some of the afternoon trivia sessions. We did attend some of the specialty lectures on the history and culture of the ports. They were okay, but not spectacular. Ports Since we had been to all of the ports before, we did not do any of the ship sponsored excursions which we view as overpriced cattle herds, thus we did one private tour and DIY's for all others. Grand Cayman--We did take a private excursion with Safari Adventures and went to the east end or quiet side of the island to visit the botanical gardens and to see the oldest home on the island in San Pedro. Since there was an island wide power outage, we could not see the introductory film and our guide made up for it by taking us to a private preserve where we saw dozens or iguanas and other wildlife. We had hoped to take advantage of free WiFi locations in town to check in back home, but the power outage prevented that along with the frozen drink that I had promised "The One Who Must Be Obeyed". We had to settle for beer and soda. The upside of the power outage was that the shops could not accept credit cards, thus I saved a few dollars with someone who likes to shop! Aruba--We have been to this beautiful island several times before, thus we were old pros at navigating the public bus system to Eagle Beach where we rented chairs in shade and I spent several hours in the warm waters. Afterward we went back to the ship to have lunch and go into town for shopping and free WiFI and Starbucks, we were learned that our next grandchild will be a boy! Bonaire--We know that this has a rocky coast best known for diving or snorkeling and not for its sandy beaches. Research on these boards led us to take a shared van to Sorobon Beach where we enjoyed what is probably the only sandy beach (albeit somewhat small and shallow) on the island. We rented chairs in the shade adjacent to restrooms and a bar with food and enjoyed the warm and shallow waters. We watched dozens of windsurfers and wished that we were younger! St. Maarten--We wanted a break from beaches and thus took the water taxi into town for shopping for our grand children and me darling wife. She found some "bargains" in the straw market. We had some cool drinks while looking out at the harbor and took advantage of the free WIFI do to some facetime with our daughters back in the states. St. Thomas--Again, we have been there several times and chose to take a taxi to Emerald Beach which is at the Best Western Hotel. We rented chairs in the shade and swam for several hours in warm and calm waters and just read and relaxed. We again had our I-Pad and took advantage of the free WiFi. Conclusion Positives--When you first come home from a cruise, it always seems that it is the best cruise ever, but we have to admit that we really enjoyed the Serenade of the Seas and the itinerary and weather on this one! We had outstanding service from the crew Minor Annoyances--I won't even call them negatives. The ship's library has to be one of the weakest that we have ever seen with just one cabinet and a few shelves of books. Since St. Thomas was our first stop on U.S. soil, the ship had everyone line up very early in the morning to pass through immigration. It took us over an hour in a line that stretched from the theatre all of the way forward to the dining room all of the way aft to have an immigration official look at our passport for a second or two and to have the staff put a sticker on our sea pass card. We ran into some "complainers" at meal times and were embarassed with fuss that they chose to make. None of this annoyed us for more than a minute of two and we concentrated on positives. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We sailed from New Orleans and had time to take trolly to see some sights in the city.Bourbon Street,Jazz Festival .Serenade of Seas is a very well kept mid size cruiser.We enjoyed the public areas of the ship and found the Solarium to be ... Read More
We sailed from New Orleans and had time to take trolly to see some sights in the city.Bourbon Street,Jazz Festival .Serenade of Seas is a very well kept mid size cruiser.We enjoyed the public areas of the ship and found the Solarium to be the place to enjoy breakfast in the morning!There was plenty to do all day!The pool was at times crowded but always managed to find a chaise.Bingo,cinema and casino kept us busy during the day.The theater was always spectacular especially the two man comedy show from California!Had everyone in hysterics!!Everyone who worked on this cruise ship was helpful,accommodating and seemed to enjoy their role in RCCL.We pretty much did our own excursion in every port.Grand Cayman we walked to the downtown area and shopped.Had lunch right on the waterfront.We had previously vacationed in the Caymans so passed on Stingray City,Seven Mile Beach and Hell but highly recommend for those who have not been.Aruba was our second stop and took a cab to The Ritz and toured the Hotel.We then walked the boardwalk along the beach to the Hyatt and had lunch out on "The Pier".Bonaire is for snorkeling and diving.We walked to the Divi hotel and snorkeled right off the beach.The dive store is on site.St.Maarten is great for shopping and taking a van tour.We toured over to St.Martin( French side) and went to a nice beach. St.Thomas was our last port and decided to jewelry shop!There are some of the best beaches on this island!Our cabin was well maintained by the housekeeping staff and always had a bucket of ice in room!Embarkation and Disembarkation went very smoothly and there was no problem leaving mid morning.Would take another cruise on The Serenade of The Seas . Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We are RCI Diamonds so we have a lot of experience with Royal. We found the departure and disembarkation excellent. We are both 69 years old, but this cruise made us feel young. We have never seen so many cruisers on walkers, canes and ... Read More
We are RCI Diamonds so we have a lot of experience with Royal. We found the departure and disembarkation excellent. We are both 69 years old, but this cruise made us feel young. We have never seen so many cruisers on walkers, canes and scooters (good for them...they are still traveling!). We think that is why our walk off with luggage was so quick as most people could not carry there own luggage. We had an ocean view stateroom on deck 3. The room was as expected...clean and fresh. Our stateroom attendant was very courteous as were many of the other stateroom attendants we met. They provided excellent service. As far as entertainment went. We saw three movies. Two on the outdoor screen and one in the too small theater (40 person). The first Serenade production show was a bit uneven and the cast seemed to be not in sync. The second production show was excellent. Everything just clicked. There several dark nights in the theater....and there was the usual game show with spouses. We felt that there could have been more entertainment provided. There were no shows on the Atrium although the equipment was in place to have one. In the Schooner bar one night, the trivia game was hosted by what seemed a 'wasted' host. The next time she evening she appeared to be a bit more in control. We got our drinks there as the Diamond Lounge was overflowing and they seemed to be the best drinks on the ship. Great service there, but a bit noisy. Dining was OK...not great. The menu was heavy on chicken and fish. There were not as many beef selections as on other cruises. Our waiters were just OK on one night then great on another night...so call it a bit spotty. The Windjammer served diner, but it was mostly 'stew' type selections. We were going to try Rita's Cantina. We didn't go because we found that we would the only people there. Chops was good as usual...finally got a good beef selection. The ship condition could use a good inspection. We found several retaining bars with loose screws....one in an elevator. Overall, it was good voyage with interesting ports. However, this was not the best cruise with have been on with Royal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
There was good and not so good. The crew were the friendliest of all my RCCL cruises. I only wish the high price charged for internet was worth it. Waiting to get online was unacceptable. Food in the Dining Room was average. A new ... Read More
There was good and not so good. The crew were the friendliest of all my RCCL cruises. I only wish the high price charged for internet was worth it. Waiting to get online was unacceptable. Food in the Dining Room was average. A new menu was being introduced. I would have liked a couple of "Wow" meals. For entertainment, I enjoyed the movies by the pool best of all. Getting off in Boston was poorly organized. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
After reading several opines on this trip I decided to add my humble one also. We ere 7 adults and 4 children, RC experience range from Diamond Plus for PaPa and Grandma to RC newbies, with a few Disney cruises under their belt, so here it ... Read More
After reading several opines on this trip I decided to add my humble one also. We ere 7 adults and 4 children, RC experience range from Diamond Plus for PaPa and Grandma to RC newbies, with a few Disney cruises under their belt, so here it goes. Embarkation security was slow and awkward, once to the RC line all went well. Our cabin steward met us and all was fine for the rest of the trip. Eats The food in the main dining room is slipping in our experience, however, the waitstaff was great to the children ranging in age from 18 month to 10 years, well done. We were typically one of the last out of the 5:30 sitting and did not feel rushed at all. I have the same opine on the Windjammer, lower selection and quality over the years. We never had any probable with seating nor service, the servers were always at out table asking if they could get us anything. Entertainment Directors cruise staff was great, needed anything they were there. Main theather has the typical mix of jugglers, comedians and RC cast shows and was typically good. Pool Pool band of two, needs improvement, more players, more songs and more time. Most times we could find a pool chair. Bar Staff Well there bar staff, happy times. Debarkation UNBELIEVEABLE short, the ship was delayed an hour due to traffic on the river, but we dinged out and nine minutes later we had our luggage was thru customs, phoned our limo bus and they were there..... The Serenade, Radiance class ship has its pluses and minuses, but we never felt crowded with 1900 of the nominal 2100 passengers onboard. So overall, it's not a five star luxury ocean liner, it's a cruise ship with most folks wanting to have a good time and not complain, about everything. We enjoyed the family vacay and were treated well across the board.....Its not the Ritz but certainly a good value for your money in my opine. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
This was my second cruise, the first one was for my 1st anniversary 12 years ago, and now this one with my husband and the kids (ages 10 & 8). I was a bit reluctant at first with the thought of being confined to a small space with the ... Read More
This was my second cruise, the first one was for my 1st anniversary 12 years ago, and now this one with my husband and the kids (ages 10 & 8). I was a bit reluctant at first with the thought of being confined to a small space with the kids for a week, boy was I ever wrong! We arrived in New Orleans a couple days early to have a pre-vacation and see the city which was a great start to the vacation. By far our favorite activity was the WWII museum which is a must-see for anyone in New Orleans. Also a couple trips to Cafe du Monde for beignets, and walks throughout the parks were a lot of fun. The boarding process in New Orleans went pretty smooth, lots of lines but that was expected. As soon as we got on the ship we headed to the Windjammer for lunch and then spent time exploring around. The kids were especially delighted to see the basketball/soccer court, ping pong tables, billiards, shuffle board and the pools. We spent much time playing ping pong throughout the week. The biggest surprise to my husband and I was the Ocean Adventure kids program, it was excellent!! On the first day at sea we signed the kids up for the program, and enabled them to be self-signers so that they could come and go without my husband and I needing to be there. We dropped them off for the morning session on day 2 and weren't too sure how they'd like it. We came back a few hours later before the morning session was set to end and the first response was "Why are you here? We want to stay!" The Ocean Adventure staff was great, they were so good with the kids and had new activities and fun games for them everyday. They even had late night sessions from 10:00PM-2:00AM for gagaball tournaments, etc. (my kids loved this!). They went to the late night sessions until 11 or 12 almost every night. The last night sessions cost an additional $7/hour per child, but well worth the money to get some quality adult time to enjoy our wine and drinks. Our cruise was during Spring Break so there were lots of other kids to play with, both my kids had lots of playmates and made lots of new friends. We had a balcony cabin on deck 10, the couch folded out into a bed for the kids to sleep on at night. It was a bit cramped at night once the bed was put out, but we were able to manage. Having the balcony was great and added a nice bit of extra living space. We had no problem storing our clothes and belongings in the room, plenty of closet and drawer space. We did take advantage of the $30/bag laundry special on day 4(?), which got us through the week. We were scheduled for 8:00 seating in the main dining room, and had a 10 seater table to ourselves. It was actually quite nice to be able to dine alone and not have forced conversations with others. We thoroughly enjoyed the wait staff and the food. The portions can be quite small, but we regularly ordered multiple appetizers and desserts. The afternoon and late night dining options are very limited. I was disappointed in the lack of selection and the limited hours. As part of the free beverages they had flavored water which was very tasty (and a good rum mixer), but it is only served during the Park Cafe hours, and even then they would run out at times. I started getting extras during the day and storing them in the cabin for later. I did pack my own reusable water bottle for my time on the cruise, this worked out perfectly. I just wish I had brought more than one. My kids both had the soda drink package which was a complete waste, I think they only had one or two sodas the entire cruise. They had the free juice or water most of the time. To get the soda you have to go to a bar to get it, it is not self serve. My husband and I would get a bottle of wine for dinner and that worked out well, and much less expensive then the daily drink package. The pool areas were always very crowded, but it didn't spoil any of our fun. Now for the ports of call: Key West - This was a nice stop, it's great that it's still US so do you feel safer. We walked to the Butterfly Museum which was a fun place and very cool to see the butterflies and flamingos. The flamingos were in mating season and we got to see the full mating call and dance, pretty neat. We then went to the Hemingway House, which was very cool and filled with lots of interesting history. Then the kids were begging to get back to the ship for the kids club, so we dropped them off and then my husband and I headed back to Sloppy Joe's bar for a few afternoon drinks, good times! Nassau, Bahamas - I was less-impressed with this stop. We walked to Fort Charlotte, which was a long walk and a bit tiring for the kids. Fort Charlotte is interesting and only $1 entrance fee, so definitely worth a visit. We then went to the Pirates Museum, which was a interesting, but a bit touristy and overpriced, but still worth the visit. On the way back to the ship we ran across a Greek restaurant (Athena cafe) and stopped in for some Sky juice and appetizers, this was one of the best meals on our vacation, absolutely delicious! Coco Cay - This was our favorite stop. The island is beautiful and the water crystal blue. The kids and I did the ocean play activities, this was so much fun! The kids had the all-day water slide pass, which they loved. We definitely good our money's worth. It was nice that the food was all inclusive and no need to buy or bring anything along. Read Less
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