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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We just returned from a week aboard the Vision of the Seas. Having previously cruised on the Oasis of the Seas with RCC, I was not sure what to expect from an older, smaller ship. However, we had a great time and were pleased with the ... Read More
We just returned from a week aboard the Vision of the Seas. Having previously cruised on the Oasis of the Seas with RCC, I was not sure what to expect from an older, smaller ship. However, we had a great time and were pleased with the experience. While the ship is dated, it is clean and well maintained. In contrast to our cruise last year on Norwegian (Pride of America), the staff and service from Royal Caribbean was again excellent. You feel like the crew on RCC ships is genuinely passionate about customer service. This cruise had a younger crowd than we expected, and there were few children. The three members of our party are between 32 and 41 with no children, so this was a positive for us. However, if you are at a more mature stage in life or have children, this may be a negative. The food was good, and the entertainment was fun. We did experience some fairly rough seas on this trip, and the ship could not dock in Costa Maya due to weather. But, that did not bother our party much, although I am sure some others were disappointed. Excursion wise, we thoroughly enjoyed all of our experiences. The highlight was the Eco Forest Hike in Roatan led by Michael Price. He is very knowledgeable about the jungle and highly entertaining. We really enjoyed it. We did the Belize Zoo and boat ride in Belize and a beach day in Cozumel. Both were very enjoyable. Overall, I recommend this cruise to others as long as you go in realizing that you're not on a brand new mega ship. To us, the destinations and the outstanding service made the experience great. As always with cruises, we came home feeling very relaxed and refreshed, and we're looking forward to our next one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
Our Panana Canal cruise was wonderful! A full 15 days with great ports, many sea days aboard a great ship with a fantastic crew. Leaving Los,angeles we went to two Mexican Ports, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo. Then on to Guatemala, Costa Rica, ... Read More
Our Panana Canal cruise was wonderful! A full 15 days with great ports, many sea days aboard a great ship with a fantastic crew. Leaving Los,angeles we went to two Mexican Ports, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo. Then on to Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, through the Canal then on to Colombia and ending in San Juan Puerto Rico. a great iteniary. The only disappointment was Royal Caribs new menu which they implemented the second day of our cruise. Gone was the traditional cruise fare--shrimp cocktail, prime rib, lobster tail and instead was a daily dose of almost unedible items attemtping I guess to gourmet us. Food that was unrecognizable both in appearance and taste. The eveyday menu was similarly bad. The "aged manhattan steak" was tough beef you wouldnt serve at home. This new menu was a complete disaster and it was the talk of the passengers everywhere on the ship, in the elevators, in the bars and at dinner. RCI clearly lost many future passengers by serving us this swill on a 15 day trip. i am Diamond but it will be long and hard before I waste money on another RCI ship if this is what they are going to serve us as cruise ship food. And I am not alone based on what our tablemates and others said. Our servers were absolutely excellent!! The food in the specialty places, Steakhouse and Portofinos was EXCELLENT! I cant recommend them enough. Perfect service and excellent food but there is a cover charge. And those charges have gone up. Also, drinks on the ship are now in the $7-8 dollar range with a built in 18% tip! And R I no longer has the Broadway shows either, apparently cutting corners there as well. lOoks like future cruise are going to be Princess or Celebrity since RCI seems to want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We recently returned from 14 great days on Jewel, cruising from San juan to San diego celebrating our wedding anniversary. First a little about ourselves - this was our 8th RCI cruise, 11th in total. We are both in our early 40's. ... Read More
We recently returned from 14 great days on Jewel, cruising from San juan to San diego celebrating our wedding anniversary. First a little about ourselves - this was our 8th RCI cruise, 11th in total. We are both in our early 40's. We stayed in the hilton caribe the night before the cruise which worked out fine - around $15 to the ship in a cab. Embarkation was very easy with no line at the platinum and above check in line. The ship This was our second time on jewel (following a Baltic cruise in 2006). Yes the ship is ready for its much needed refurb next year, but overall we love the design of the radiance class ships. So many places where you can sit and see the ocean - we also love the outside seating at the rear of the windjammer. The most obvious signs of age were some dated furniture and worn carpets but overall not in bad shape! We both thought the crew were excellent overall and particularly friendly - probably the best atmosphere we've known. Stateroom We had a balcony 8614. Corinna did a great job of keeping this clean and tidy. Yes it's on the small side but there was more than enough room for 2 weeks worth of clothes. Dining Most of our breakfasts and lunches were at the windjammer. We found the breakfast (including 2 egg stations) was excellent with everything you would need. Lunch options were fine although after 2 weeks some of the choices got a little repetitive. We thought the choices at the salad bar were excellent. Desserts as usual were mediocre. In terms of the MDR overall our experience was excellent. Agnelo and Valentin looked after us very well on MTD. Some of the steak and fish dishes were a little disappointing but the chicken was particularly good. Desserts were outstanding. It was a little disappointing that shrimp cocktail was not on the always available choices. However our waiter managed to find it for us on a regular basis. We also mentioned it on a mid cruise survey and the head waiter came over to apologise!!! On a couple of sea days there was a bbq by the pool which we really enjoyed. We went to portofino one night and thought it was just ok - we missed the dining room. One thing to mention as a Brit - the teabags were awful - a minimum of 2 per cup were required! We had the premium package for drinks and more than got our money's worth without going crazy. Entertainment We felt the shows were mixed and a lot were to american tastes (eg comedians) which we can understand. Some were good eg Las Vegas tenors and we enjoyed the production shows. We really appreciated the enrichment lectures which helped our knowledge of the canal and countries like Guatemala and Costa rica. Cruise director and his staff were very good and the fact that he said goodbye to all guests as they left the ship was a really nice touch. Ports Panama Canal was the reason for the trip and was amazing! A must if you haven't done it. Costa Rica - we went on the ships boat and train excursion which was excellent - particularly enjoyed seeing the crocodiles! Guatemala - had a great trip to Antigua. Found the country fascinating Puerto Vallarta was cancelled due to gang violence. Cabo San Lucas - ships tour to todos santos - not the best trip although lunch in the hotel California was great! The coastline was stunning and sail away was a real highlight. Ensenada - a dump, don't know why we went! In summary, a great trip helped the excellent staff, great weather and some interesting stops. We had a lovely couple of days in San diego at the end of the trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Mexico - Panama Canal - Central America Cruise - 14 Nights. Overall, this cruise was above average but less than very good. I am an RCCL Diamond level cruiser and this was my 15th cruise - 10th with RCCL - 1st on Jewel. PRE CRUISE: We ... Read More
Mexico - Panama Canal - Central America Cruise - 14 Nights. Overall, this cruise was above average but less than very good. I am an RCCL Diamond level cruiser and this was my 15th cruise - 10th with RCCL - 1st on Jewel. PRE CRUISE: We flew out the day before and stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino the night before. I thought by staying at this hotel we could just walk to the ship but the ship arrived at a different pier and we had to take a $10 cab ride - no big deal. I booked the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel & Casino through United Airlines website and thought I got a bay view room. Wrong - got a parking garage view room. Was too tired to argue. Room was fine, bed was comfy, breakfast buffet for $22/pp was overpriced and bad. Lesson learned: stay somewhere better because you have to take a cab anyway to get to the ship. EMBARKATION: Fine - no line, got on right away. Luggage showed up quickly. CABIN: 7504 - Family Ocean View - large with lots of extra room compared to regular ocean view rooms. 2 issues to consider: the 2 large windows face forward and if the ship is heading into the sun it gets hot in the room through the windows. Also, there is a crew access hall right next to the room, and there was a bothersome amount of noise coming from the crew activities. Also, whenever the crew has a cigarette in their area or nearby, the smell of cigarettes is evident in the cabin. Furniture is old, sometimes shabby, and carpet is average. Lots and lots of storage space. Normal bathroom - small but clean and functional. Our cabin attendant Israel introduced himself on day 1 and met all my special requests and did an excellent job and was always smiling and in a good mood. ACTIVITIES - shows were average - some good, some not so good. Regular activities were average - less than on previous cruises. We did quite a bit of trivia - fun. One wine tasting for $20 was above average. The cruise director and his wife were energetic and fun to be around as was their staff. BEVERAGE PACKAGE - ROYAL REPLENISH - Irritating numbers of rules and regulations to deal with in my opinion. Certain sodas here, not there, certain water here but not there, fresh squeezed OJ but only in Wind Jammer in the morning, etc. But, worked very well in Latte Tudes - had specialty coffees and teas all day long - enough to make it worth the $20/day. Still, somewhat of a pain to use otherwise. Should be: any soda, water, specialty tea or coffee anywhere anytime. Otherwise, if I would have limited myself to 1 coffee in the morning at Latte Tudes ($4) + one OJ in Wind Jammer ($3) + one special Iced Tea at Latte Tudes ($3) + two bottles of water ($6) = $16/day I probably would have done better and probably would have consumed less than even that. Randall & Bacchus at Latte Tudes were fun & cool & excellent. WIND JAMMER - Average. Above average salad bar & fresh salad items. Average mixed salads. Small buffet selection and somewhat repetitive. Breakfast selections are below average and just about as good as any decent hotel buffet breakfast these days - nothing special. Lunch is average with an average salad bar, average pasta selections, and average overall selections. Hot dogs and hamburgers every day - average. Nothing special. Pizza is available but is average. For dinner you can add some sushi rolls and a few other entrees, but again average. Staff are good - plates are picked up rapidly. Water and other low-quality drinks are still free. Desserts are average at best. Soft serve ice cream is nice but average. Overall average. MAIN DINING - we did "My Time" dining. Always seated promptly - almost no waiting. Head waiter very good. Main waiter 'Ray' very good. Assistant waiter 'Carlos' excellent. Overall excellent service. Food is above average. Selections are very repetitive. Most preparations are above average or better. The specialty items from 'Chops' for $16 - $29 are all excellent and are about what you would pay in a good restaurant. Most entrees were good and well prepared with good ingredients. Desserts were average. Wine list is disappointing but decent selection of wines by the glass are available. Overall good. DIAMOND LOUNGE - Deck 13 - Vortex/Hollywood - RCCL made these two clubs available every night at 530PM for their daily Diamond Event. Good event and service was good. Edibles were decent but repetitive. SHORE EXCURSIONS - Costa Rica panoramic excursion was boring. Guatemala excursion to Anguila was very good and interesting. Cabo was fun as always. Ensenada wine country excursion was fun and worth it. Puerta Vallarta stop was cancelled due to civil unrest. Overall above average as always. DISEMBARKATION - Fast & Easy & well done. TIPS - we did pre-paid tips which was fine with me. Tips also were supposedly pre-paid with the beverage package. However I still felt compelled to give a little extra on top. Maybe its just me, but if the tip is really included at 18% then there shouldn't be a tip line on a $0 ticket - seems tacky. OVERALL SUMMARY - mainstream cruising with average buffet, good main dining, average entertainment, average ship, good crew. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015

First, like I usually do, I book a motel a day before the cruise (just to insure no timing problems). So I booked this cruise from Galveston and then a motel there. Then air from San Diego to Houston, and thinking I would just rent a ... Read More

First, like I usually do, I book a motel a day before the cruise (just to insure no timing problems). So I booked this cruise from Galveston and then a motel there. Then air from San Diego to Houston, and thinking I would just rent a car at the airport and drop it off on the island, go on the cruise and rend another car when we returned and visit my cousin in Katy then fly home. Problem:

You can not just rent a car at the airport and drop it off at that port. The only car rental on the island is Enterprise and they don't accept other car companies cars. So, the choice is take a taxi for a lot of money to the port. Same back as Enterprise charges $200 a day if you try to rent a car from the island and drop it off somewhere. So, what to do? I looked at the web, to find a lot of people had/have the same issue. The fact that .Royal Caribbean had a shuttle for the cruises on the web, not Royal C. No Royal C people told me about this. So, I cancel the island motel, book one by the airport and am going to use the ship shuttle. I call and find I can not buy a ticket over the phone/web. one has to just to appear on Sunday morning (they are closed except Sunday) and buy a spot on the bus to the port. So, we show up on Sunday morning (again, there is no one there except Sunday) and buy our tickets, I try to buy a return ticket, but you can not. You have to buy it on the ship. So late in the cruise I try to book the return shuttle, but NO, I had to do it a day before I tried to book them. Was told I had to do it a day earlier!! I was ticked, told the clerk that this was most likely the first and last Royal Caribbean cruise. So, luckily our dinner mates found out and we returned back to the airport with them, rented a car there to do some Texas visiting. We were also billed for a higher beverage package than I had purchased, glad I caught it, they had to cancel it and reduce the charges.

Food was the worse I have had on some 10 cruises. The lobster night was a 1/4 pound thing that was cut in half and was almost impossible to get the meat out of. I had to use two knives, our dinner mates had to have the servers remove their lobster meat. Also did not care for 2 formal nights in one week.

Looking at the prices for the Wi-Fi is not worth it.

I was not impressed with this cruise/line

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Sail Date: September 2014

We arrived at the Port of Galveston in plenty of time to be greeted by piles of suitcases and bewildered passengers with no guidance from staff. Took over an hour to get to the front desk to check in and the check in staff had no idea ... Read More

We arrived at the Port of Galveston in plenty of time to be greeted by piles of suitcases and bewildered passengers with no guidance from staff. Took over an hour to get to the front desk to check in and the check in staff had no idea what to do with our residence cards or UK ESTA travel documents, finally after 20 mins we got our Sea Pass cards and headed to the ship.

I was told by several people RC is the cruise line to go with and their ships were excellent. Having looked round the Navigator I have to disagree, despite a $60m refit last year she was still quite dated and in need of TLC. We were on deck 11 and right before us an piece of trim started peeling off, the chairs on our balcony on deck 7 were flaking paint, the carpets needed a deep cleaning or in places replacing and several light fittings were either broken or not working, plus issues in other areas, it wasn't the jewel I had been expecting from reviews. The Sapphire restaurant food was mediocre and mostly lukewarm when it arrived. We ate in Chops Steakhouse twice and it was worth every penny, the Windjammer was actually very good for a buffet. When we disembarked it was utter chaos, wrong information onboard, there was nearly a fight in the immigration line as there were no barriers or signs to show where people to go and people were cutting inline after others had queued for 90 mins or more and the staff just barked at you if you were in the wrong area. This was our first time on RC and based on this experience I doubt we'll sail with them again.

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Sail Date: July 2014

My two 12 year old children and I went on a Navigator of the Seas cruise in late July. I have to admit that I have high standards in travel, and after reading some reviews on this website, I had wondered if we had made a mistake in ... Read More

My two 12 year old children and I went on a Navigator of the Seas cruise in late July. I have to admit that I have high standards in travel, and after reading some reviews on this website, I had wondered if we had made a mistake in booking the cruise. In fact, I called Royal Caribbean at the last minute to see if there was any way we could update to a suite or to "Gold" status just to avoid some of the things I had read (I couldn't - it was too late). Certain reviews had stated how crowded the cruise was, how Royal Caribbean always said "No" and what a disaster Galveston was. I have to say that I found NONE of that true and that the kids and I thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and would do another Royal Caribbean Cruise in a heartbeat.

We got to Galveston around 11:30 (took Stamax Limo from Houston which was fantastic) and we were on the Ship eating by 12:30. We had a great cabin with a pull down ceiling, twin bed (and a king bed) and a nice balcony overlooking the ocean. Ernesto was our cabin attendant and we never had any problems with our room. [We did smell cigarette smoke a few times from our balcony, and Royal Caribbean immediately responded and came to investigate where the smoke was coming from, and then stopped it.]

We enjoyed the activities on the ship (Flowrider, Rock Climbing, Mini golf, basketball, the running track) and enjoyed the shows - especially the comedy show and the Marriage/ Newlywed show.

We ate at almost all of the restaurants, and found that the food was very good. We paid extra money for the Mexican, sushi and Italian restaurants, and found that they were well worth the supplement. Those restaurants were basically empty and the food and service were amazing. We also ate at Johnny Rockets and had the most amazing milkshakes ever.

If we had one complaint, it was that the pools were too small. It would have been nice to have bigger pools, and we will look for that on our next cruise.

We loved Roatan and going to Guambalina park to see monkeys. We ended up doing the zip line while we were there, which was not part of our shore excursion. It was the best zipline we have ever done (incl in Mexico and Costa Rico). After ziplining, we enjoyed the very quiet, freshwater pool at Guambalin, and took the shuttle back to the boat at 3:00. A perfect day and a highly recommended shore excursion.

If you want to ice skate, be aware that the ice skating times quickly get full. Therefore, it is best to go there in the morning and get a ticket for the time that you want.

For disembarking, we opted to take our own bags off the ship and got a pass to be the first group off. We were through customs in minutes - definitely not the nightmare that others had encountered.

 

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Sail Date: November 2013

A month before we departed I got the email about a repo cruise to Panama. Because that was on the 'proverbial' Bucket List, I examined further. The cruise would leave Miami on a Wednesday and arrive in Colon Panama on a Saturday ... Read More

A month before we departed I got the email about a repo cruise to Panama. Because that was on the 'proverbial' Bucket List, I examined further. The cruise would leave Miami on a Wednesday and arrive in Colon Panama on a Saturday morning. I immediately booked the slot. For only $199.00 we got a beautiful balcony room. The cruise to Colon was windy but we were able to enjoy the Solarium, pretty much adults only where we were able to swim out of the wind. The waves were a little rough but nothing we could not handle.

This was a newly refurbed ship to the tune of $50 Million. Everything on the ship was wonderful. We boarded easily and waited till 1:00 pm to go to the room. A lovely buffet was available in the Windjammer Room. Lots of choices and all very good. The ship was only half filled so we never waited for anything. The crew was gracious. Other than the Ship's Dancers and Singers, the entertainment was dismal. We walked out of the Elvy show and never went to the third night's. It was a great cruise and very relaxing. We ate at 6:00 pm which was easy and had excellent service from Sagreeb. I will certainly be looking for more of these type of cruises. By taking advantage of this cruise we save hundreds of dollars and were able to take a Panama Canal Ferry / Ship tour which was awesome! Thank you RCL for the opportunity.

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2013
Absolutely the cleanest ship we ever sailed on. Entertainment from Colon to San Jaun Superb. All Latino and in Spanish as were shows. We have taken the Panama cruises a few times and keep going back. Hector Ruiz on the keyboard in ... Read More
Absolutely the cleanest ship we ever sailed on. Entertainment from Colon to San Jaun Superb. All Latino and in Spanish as were shows. We have taken the Panama cruises a few times and keep going back. Hector Ruiz on the keyboard in Schooner Bar is always fantastic and gets the crowd up and dancing in the aisles. There was virtually no smoke on the ship - This was wonderful and the most smoke free ship we have ever been on. Then we get to San Juan and the rntertainment went downhill as the "Locomotion" band took the stage playing the same songs each night. The Don Sauro Trio was decent but no pizazz like the Latino bands. Katie on the piano should retire. The concierage, Ruth Ortiz, was extremely effective and made the cruise wonderful for us. She set us up with a dinner with the Chief Engineer, Harri, and was the best we've had. We enjoyed the Concierage Lounge on deck 11. We were the only ones in there for breakfast at 7:00 after our daily workout. We have sailed with Radeck Lazo the waiter for many cruises and always enjoy talking to him. Denise Ellis is a superb mixer and bartender. This is the first cruise we used My Time dining and will never go back to Main/Late. We met many fastinating people and were not stuck with the WallE's. Anthony was the only head waiter we have ever seen that totally interacts with guests. He even took orders and served. He remembered many by name each night. Anca, the Maitre'D always found us good seats. Tenisha was a superb waiter and we got her often and requested to be seated in her area. This was our first Diamond Plus cruise and definitely liked the amenities. On the repo from Colon to San Juan there were only 700 guests onboard. Nice! Aeriel performances were unique. Captain Espin was very friendly and visible. Chef Jan was in every venue checking food daily and was very effective in keeping the right food mix, especially hors duerves. Food quality has dropped and no escargot. Park Cafe served healthier food and a welcome edition. Love the cappaccino machines that were self serve in CL and DL. Izume was a disappointment as they charge a cover charge and ala carte charges. Why pay twice - RCCL - you did wrong. Giovanni's, on the other hand, was awesome and you get a two for one on the first night sailing. Nice. Osso Buco fantastic. Gym only has 8 tread mills so get there early. Need to fix the controls on the hot tubs to get the jets to go above #1. In our top 5 best cruise overall, especially Colon to SJ. Getting ready for a 42 day (3 back to backs) from BA to Antartica up the coast, and back to Miami thru the ditch early next year. :) Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
My party flew into San Diego, the morning of the cruise and took a taxi from the airport over to the cruise ship terminal area. We arrived around 10:30am walked up, dropped off our luggage and then walked to the North along the pier to ... Read More
My party flew into San Diego, the morning of the cruise and took a taxi from the airport over to the cruise ship terminal area. We arrived around 10:30am walked up, dropped off our luggage and then walked to the North along the pier to have lunch at Anthony's Grotto (my favorite in San Diego - awesome clam chowder). After lunch, we walked back to the cruise terminal - it was around 11:45am by now and HOLY cow - was there a line - going out the terminal - and once we weaved our way into the terminal - about 20 minutes later - it was standing in lines for about and hour and a half (little less or more, can't remember exactly - but it was of slow standing/walking - not good on the back). Once we got up to the counter, as we entered the Platinum/Emerald line - it went a bit faster and we were on the ship by 2pm. We had a light snack and walked around to check out the Vision. So quaint and little compared to the bigger ships. Overall - the experience on board was good. I enjoyed the dining, the food was very good. I was a bit disappointed in the cruise director and cruise director staff (Elizabeth and can't remember the young gentleman from Canada, sorry - but these two were very nice and sociable, the others always seemed tired and irritated, and the cruise director himself, was not approachable - did not mingle much w/ the folk as I saw and his activities director followed him around all the time) By the way, I still remember the cruise director from my first cruise back in 2006 - on Explorer of the Seas - Chloe - fun lady and of course Ken Roman is awesome from the Allure!!- the activities on board were not to my normal expectations from Royal; however - I did notice that I was in the minority with my sailing age. It appeared to me that the majority of the guests sailing were in the senior and above range - and I do admit I met some WONDERFUL people who I will keep in touch with - however - when I go up to Karaoke at the Viking crown lounge at 10:30-11pm (not sure why so late) - it was crickets - maybe only a couple of people - the regulars who went every night - 3 or 4 people. Ports - If you didn't spend the money and go out on a long excursion in a bus, away from the ports - there was definitely NOT much to see or do near the ports. Cabo San Lucas - walk around, grab a drink and a little local shopping. Puerto Vallarto - it was my step-dads bday - so again - walk around, a little shopping and a drink. Costa Rica - little shopping and lunch at a local place - right on the corner of the main square in town. Guatemala - more local shopping Columbia - did the fortress and Cartagena city tour. It was pretty hot, but it was fascinating to see. Best for Last - The day we spent going through the canal was FANTASTIC - They had a wonderful speaker who came on board to narrate and discuss the history - he was only on board while we went through the locks. I was lucky to have a balcony on the starboard side and since each set of locks we passed on the west locks, we were able to watch what was going on through the east locks. Pretty cool stuff. I will never forget this experience and be more proud of genuine human creativity and thinking that can come up with these wonderful technologies...even so many years ago. The majority of the sailing was calm waters and smooth - except when we left Cartagena - heading back towards FL - our first evening was pretty rocky - the special speaker on board said we were crossing through something nicknamed, "The Channel of Hell" - since there were 3 different currents and gale force winds rocking us a bit. I am not sure I will sail on the Vision again, but only because of my desire for more activities - however - she is going through a re-invention this September - so best of luck to her. Read Less
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