4 Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas British Columbia Cruise Reviews

My wife and I booked this cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary. We had previously taken a 4-day Catalina/Enseneda cruise aboard the Carnival Ecstasy. I had been told by most people that we would probably enjoy the Royal Caribbean ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary. We had previously taken a 4-day Catalina/Enseneda cruise aboard the Carnival Ecstasy. I had been told by most people that we would probably enjoy the Royal Caribbean experience more than our experience with Carnival. I can say that overall, they were right. We had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves. I used the message board and cruise reviews before we booked the cruise and I can say that the tips we learned really helped out a great deal. We took a Taxi to the cruise terminal and were very disappointed. The web site for the terminal recommends Checker Cab and we called them. They suggested the rate might be in the neighborhood of $30 to $50. They ended up transferring our fare to Yellow Cab who charged us $75 and we had to give directions! We had a one way flight back from Vancouver aboard Alaska Airlines that gave us plenty of time to explore Vancouver before our flight left. We booked Execucar from the airport back home and were very pleased. It cost us a little over $100 for this return trip and it was much more pleasant. You can book Execucar from the SuperShuttle web site but I suggest you call them. They have more booking options than are available on-line, including transportation to the port. Embarkation was a snap. We arrived at about 2:30pm and there was NOBODY in line. We were told our cabin was already ready. When we got on board we went directly to our cabin to unload our carry-on luggage where we were met by our cabin steward. He introduced himself, got our names, told us when he was on duty and how to use the "Make up my room" and "Do not Disturb" cards. He was very visible and after that one introduction he addressed me by name every time after that. We had an inside stateroom on the second deck, one of the least expensive options, and the service felt first class! We were unhappy with the bed in the room though. It was made up as a queen as it should have been but the bed was hard and you could feel the separation between the mattresses. I realize this is probably standard for this type of cabin, but we were not comfortable and had a hard time getting a good rest. The rest of the stateroom was very nice for what we remember getting on our last cruise. There were plenty of lighting options, a good-sized closet, plenty of drawer space and the customary tiny bathroom. The ship layout was outstanding. We had no trouble getting around at all! We didn't have to change decks to get from one end of the ship to the other as we have in the past. I took advantage of the two offered spinning classes on board and we did the couples massage where we learned some good techniques. This was a nice class. We noticed that there was plenty to choose from through the spa and the schedules were liberal enough that there seemed to be room in almost any program. The fitness center was a little small though with many machines requiring some amount of waiting if you like a morning workout. The food in the Windjammer was ordinary but there was a good variety and it all tasted pretty good. We found that most of the dishes were similar to what was offered in the Aquarius dining room, but the food temperature and appearance was typical for a buffet; lukewarm and overcooked. I think that is probably unavoidable for the size of the buffet and the number of people that they had to serve. We ate breakfast there every morning except one, lunch the first day only (we almost never ate a lunch) and dinner there on two occasions. We did enjoy the pasta and stir-fry bar where food was prepared to you liking while you waited. The Aquarius dining room food was outstanding but the service was just OK. Our waiter was good but the assistant was often missing in action. We had trouble getting drink refills for soda in particular and if you wanted more than one piece of bread you had to ask. If the bread plate is empty, another should be offered, unless you are at the end of your main course. Our waiter should have noticed this and corrected it. When we brought it to his attention it only marginally improved. We had main seating dining, which was a 6:00pm. A little too early for me as it seemed to interfere with our schedules, which is why we only ate there three of the five times, instead of all five. We only had a couple of occasions to get anything from the Solarium Cafe. It always seemed busy but what we did have was good. I know to stay away from hamburgers at places like this, so we did have a slice of pizza and a hot dog. I will say that the Carnival Ecstasy had the casual dining food down much better. They had much more to offer poolside than Royal Caribbean. If you are the type that expects to eat when you want to instead of according to pre-set breakfast/lunch/dinner scheduled windows, then you might be disappointed by the offerings at the Solarium Cafe. The soda was disappointing with most of it being served from warm 2-liter bottles over ice. This really destroys the taste as it really releases the carbonation from the drink while it is being pored instead of while it is being consumed. The bottles should have been pre-chilled or they should have used a soda fountain. I was guessing this was removed due to bacteria concerns. Pouring from 2-liter bottles is much better from that perspective. I should also mention that there was plenty of anti-bacterial liquid available on the ship. It was prominent and there were plenty of signs asking people to keep their hands clean to avoid illness to themselves and other passengers. We did not book any Shore Excursion in San Francisco, choosing instead to use you own exploration. We had a GREAT time exploring Fisherman's Warf, Pier 39, Lombard Street, Downtown, Coit Tower, Ghiradelli Square and a few other tourist type attractions. We ate a late lunch at Pier 39 and skipped the dining room, choosing instead to lounge at the Solarium pool and take pictures as we passed under the Golden Gate bridge coming out of the harbor. In Victoria we booked the Buchart Gardens and Butterfly Gardens tour. We purchased this tour on the Internet before we left. Our tickets were delivered to our cabin as promised. Our tour guide, Albert, was EXCELLENT. He gave us the right advice about the weather, how long to take in the gardens, advice about the gift shops, etc. Embarkation and Disembarkation from the ship in Victoria was a problem though. The ship cleared customs later than planned and the captain never did announce when that was. A bunch of people congregated in the hallways to leave. They had staff there to direct traffic, but it wasn't pretty. Security for re-embarkation was done on the ship, which slowed things down quite a bit for getting back on. In most ports there are multiple security checkpoints in the port before you get on. Not so here. We booked the Vancouver tour and airport drop-off after we boarded the ship. We were happy that we did this because it meant we were some of the first off ship. This worked out great, as long as you read the ticket correctly and went to the proper waiting point. We did, some did not and they had problems. We heard people complaining but we didn't have any complaints ourselves. The tour was delayed and we were not scheduled to arrive at the airport until 12:30. Some had flights that were scheduled to leave just after 2:00 pm and didn't feel that this was enough time to check bags, get through customs and get on the plane. That was probably right. I don't know what happened with them. The tour was OK but there was way too much traffic and road closures due to construction caused the driver to take unexpected detours. It was the unexpected part that bothered us. He should have known about road closures and planned accordingly. The entertainment was better than average and we especially liked the final act in the Aquarius. We had no problem with the show schedules as they were all posted correctly in the cruise compass. As long as you read everything and followed the published schedule there was no problem with the show times. Obviously this was a problem for many though as the magician had a very small audience for the 7:15pm show. We enjoyed the comedians and even went to the final night, late-night show. That brings me to one other complaint I had about the cruise and that is you had to read everything very carefully each day. We missed deadline to have the tips added to your stateroom. On our last cruise the customary tips were automatically added if you didn't indicate otherwise by the day before disembarkation. We expected the same from this cruise and didn't read the paperwork carefully, meaning we ended up having to get cash and put it in the little envelopes, hoping that they actually reached the right people. The Internet access was very disappointing. It didn't work in all of the areas where they published it should be working. The purser's desk told us that they knew there were problems on some of the floors. The kiosks were very slow, causing us to have to pay more than we should have. Don't count on it for doing business. Finally, we did encounter rougher seas between San Francisco and Victoria. We had read this might be case from others here on Cruise Critic so we were prepared. This was a good thing as many of our shipmates had problems. The ship had placed sickness bags on the banisters for those that were having problems. In all, the cruise experience aboard this ship was excellent. We really loved the choice of ports and the on-board experience was better than we expected. We would do this cruise again and highly recommend this particular ship. Listen to the ship's announcements, read the material delivered to your stateroom and if you have a question, ask someone. Everyone was VERY HELPFUL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
This review was prepared by PokrTomPdx (Tom) with input from Fierysand (Sandie). Let me state up front that this review will sound very negative, and I don't mean for it to, we enjoyed our cruise and many of the aspects of the trip, ... Read More
This review was prepared by PokrTomPdx (Tom) with input from Fierysand (Sandie). Let me state up front that this review will sound very negative, and I don't mean for it to, we enjoyed our cruise and many of the aspects of the trip, but I cannot ignore the negatives, and to be fair, I shouldn't. Our first cruises were on the Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas and the Carnival Paradise. Both of these ships did cruises out of Los Angeles (Long Beach) to Catalina and Ensenada. Both are smaller ships of their respective lines and are the basis of any comparisons that I made when looking at this cruise. When we booked this cruise our expectations were a little lower then if we were booking a regular itinerary for a ship because it was a repositioning cruise. We arrived for check-in around noon, which appeared to be a good time as we were able to walk right up to the check-in desk and were promptly handled by one of the agents. A few minutes of verifying paperwork and swiping a credit card and we were directed to board the ship. We learned something new on this cruise that we suspected earlier. Arriving early for check-in works to our favor and gets us aboard quickly. Score! We boarded the ship and headed to the Windjammer Restaurant for the lunch buffet. This was the first of a few disappointments for the cruise. The food for the boarding lunch was dry and bland, compared to the Monarch we were greatly disappointed and hoped that it was not the norm for this Windjammer. Sandie's comment: The food in the Windjammer on the Vision was way better then the Radiance. Unfortunately this did prove to be the norm for the Windjammer on this cruise but of course Sandie disagrees. Every time we ate in the Windjammer we found the food to be dry and relatively bland, there were a few dishes that broke the pattern but not many. Again, Sandie disagrees! When the staterooms were available we visited our stateroom and while we had an interior cabin the layout of the room made it feel larger then our previous visits to the Monarch. Our stateroom was set up with the beds together in the queen configuration, which pleased us since we did not need to request it. Additionally our Crown and Anchor books and the Terry Robes that were part of our reservation bonus were in the room waiting for us. One disappointment here was that we did not see our stateroom attendant until the 3rd day of the cruise, while he was taking care of our cabin he really did not seem interested in addressing any personal cares we may have had. Fortunately we didn't have any. Sandie got a great stateroom attendant. We loved the layout of the ship and how easy it was to get from one area to another. We were in the Centrum quite a bit and enjoyed the music that was often played in that area. The mandatory muster drill went rather quickly and our muster leader had a great attitude and did what he could to make the whole muster drill more enjoyable then it could have been. Dinner in the Aquarius Dining Room was fantastic; we were not disappointed once by the quality of the food or the service that we received there. We ate dinner in the Aquarius every night, breakfast every morning but one, and lunch twice. Where the Windjammer disappointed the Aquarius made up for. The shows put on in the main theater were enjoyable, however once again we were disappointed by the shortsightedness of some of the staff. There was a large group on the cruise that needed use of the main theatre and the staff changed the show time for the second night's second show without notifying the guests. From what I understand when the curtain raised there were around 25 people in the audience because most of the audience showed up 15-30 minutes after the show started because they expected the show at 10:45 and it started at 10:15. I took advantage of snacks in the Solarium diner a few times and was greatly disappointed by the quality of the food and the attitude of the staff. When I asked for something from the Solarium Staff I was made to feel as if my request was an imposition or annoyance, they much preferred to continue chatting with their crewmates rather than serve the guests. Sandie did not eat in the Solarium so she cannot comment but Sandie thinks the crew is AMAZING!!! The wait staff & bartender in the Schooner Lounge was attentive of us as guests and we were impressed with how much they seemed to care about our trip. The best bartenders on the ship are Rommel, Dordi, Diego, Orlando, Nestor, Tishar, and Karl!!! The Casino table game staff did not seem to know what they were doing, it seemed as if I constantly had to remind them that they did not pay a bet, did not remove a lost bet, or they just did not seem to understand their games themselves. My biggest disappointment in the Casino came from the Texas Hold-Em table, which was only opened once during the cruise, was dealt by a dealer that did not seem to understand the game, and had an outrageous rake of 10% to $10 per hand, most poker rooms, including the poker table on Carnival Paradise, only rake $3-$4 per hand and lower that rake when they don't have a full game. Internet Access, both on the ship terminals and wireless was sporadic at best. I often had 5 bars when I was wireless and could not even connect to the ships server to sign in. When using the ships terminals I rarely was able to get past the login screen and was signed out several times when I attempted to go to Gmail or the Cruise Critic forums. Lastly, Disembarking the ship in Victoria, BC was a chaotic mess, on previous trips the elevators to the gangway were disabled for the gangway deck so that guests could line up from the upper deck and not be dropped by the elevator in the beginning of the crowd allowing late comers to move in front of other guests that had been waiting patiently for the gangway to be placed and opened for disembarking. Instead guests that did not feel the need to wait in line were allowed to move in front of other guests and were being directed into place by the activities director, this really hit a sore spot for me. While I identified a lot of negatives in this review overall we did enjoy ourselves, but we can see several areas where the crew of the Vision of the Seas could improve if this is reflective of their normal attitude. Hopefully we can schedule a trip on the Vision when it is on a regular itinerary and we can see what a trip then would be like. Personally, Sandie thinks we must have been on a different cruise, because Sandie has no complaints and thinks that the ship and its crew were fantastic!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
We booked the May 7, 2006 Pacific Coastal repositioning cruise, from Los Angeles to Vancouver, via an online travel agency approximately 6 months before the cruise. During that time we had two price drops and were promptly refunded the ... Read More
We booked the May 7, 2006 Pacific Coastal repositioning cruise, from Los Angeles to Vancouver, via an online travel agency approximately 6 months before the cruise. During that time we had two price drops and were promptly refunded the difference to our credit card when we inquired about it. We arranged our air travel ourselves (via frequent flier miles) and arrived in LA the evening before the cruise. We booked a hotel (using hotel points) near the LA airport and took the hotel's free shuttle to the hotel for the evening. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Lawndale, which was about 15 minutes away. Decent basic hotel with free breakfast the next morning. We arranged for the hotel shuttle to take us back to the airport at 9 am, in order to meet our reservation for Prime Time Shuttle for the trip to the San Pedro Port (our reservation as at 9:50 am). Because it was Sunday morning, there was very little traffic and we made it there very quickly. The Prime Time people were very nice and called an earlier van for us, and we were at the port by 9:45 am! We had planned to be there by 11:30 am (which is why the shuttle company planned our trip for 9:50 am). The shuttle driver dropped us at the Celebrity ship instead of the RCCI ship, but it was no big deal to walk next door. We each only had one large suitcase and a carryon bag, so it was easy to maneuver. We dropped our bags with a porter (after attaching our cruise luggage tags, of course!) and found the check in area easily. We had already completed the SeaPass info online, which was good because of the 15 check in windows available there were only 3 for people who hadn't done so! They didn't open the check in until 10:30 am, and there was a comical bit where the port agents scrambled around changing the check in signs (it reminded me of a Price is Right bit where they change the price and run back and pull a lever to see it's right and then go back and change it again). This is a regular port for this ship, so I don't know what the problem was. Anyway, we were first in line at 10:30 and checked in by 10:35. Then we had to wait until 12:00 pm to go through security. Sigh. The ladies at the front forgot to give people their security group numbers and came through and handed them out in the waiting room later. There was a large wedding party that was allowed to board first, but then everyone else got in line and the guards were a little disorganized on whether we should be allowed in line or not. I think it was just untrained staff, not something indicative of a larger problem. We were through security and on ship in about 15 minutes. Of course, rooms were not available yet (1 pm), so we went to Windjammer for lunch. We had already made friends with three other couples and were laughing about how we all wished we could pick our own dining companions! There was a fantastic buffet available in the WJ and wait staff was bringing drinks to the table, so you didn't need to negotiate your plate and a drink. They were pushing the wine package pretty hard (I think the same guy approached us 3 times in an hour, even after I said I was pregnant and not drinking any wine this cruise). My husband was surprised to find even more food available in the center section of the WJ (separate from the buffet line) -- all of his favorites, like pasta with chorizo sausage and seafood paella. He was in heaven. At 1 pm we checked out our room and found that the foam mattress topper we had requested through Special Needs at RCCL.com was indeed in place. I left a note (and $5) for the steward for 2 more pillows and a robe. It took another day to get the robe, but the pillows were there later that afternoon. We didn't meet the room steward until the end of the second day. He was efficient and quick. I had taken the sodas and waters from the desktop (no fridge on this ship) and placed them in the shelves on the side of the vanity mirror. A few days later I went to get a Sprite and found the bottles of water missing. I asked the steward about it later and he said he had borrowed it for another guest but not to worry about being charged for it. He also didn't charge us for the 1 Sprite I had. One of our bags was delivered to the room about 2pm, and every time I heard another "thump" in the hall I went to see if it was ours. That's when our neighbors said that all of the luggage was waiting down by the stairs and I could go get it myself, which I did. I unpacked everything in short order and felt like I was "home". The muster drill was efficient and we enjoyed meeting other people from our deck. Shortly afterwards we stopped in the Schooner Bar for a drink, then made our way to the Viking Crown Lounge for sail away. It was very breezy and cool on deck, so it was nice to be inside and still be able to see everything. We initially sat in the back of the lounge, and there was NO ONE there! We were amazed that on a ship this size that we had an entire part of a public area to ourselves. We eventually made our way to the front of the lounge to watch the antics of the cruise director's staff poolside, but also since that's looking forward on the ship and it didn't make me as seasick to face forward. We talked with some folks there that had been cruising for 25 years and continued to meet them all over the ship for the rest of the cruise. Regarding bar service and drinks in general, don't forget to specify if you DON'T want the souvenir glass. I ordered a virgin strawberry daiquiri at the Schooner bar and was charged $3.50 (plus tip). A few days later in the Some Enchanted Evening lounge, I ordered the same thing, yet this one came in a souvenir glass that I didn't want and now was $4.95 (with a greater tip, of course). Stupid me! On the second formal night my husband ordered a glass of port, and it was brought in a blue "loving cup" instead of a small "snifter" type of glass that port is normally served in. Again, an upcharge for the "shot glass" sized loving cup. We only took the loving cup home. We trashed the hurricane glass in the room - not enough room in the suitcase. Consider yourself warned! We went to dinner each night in the dining room and thoroughly enjoyed it each evening. My DH really got into it, ordering anywhere from 3-4 appetizers/soups and usually 2 entrees each evening. Since I was nauseous from the pregnancy (first trimester) and the rocking of the ship (12-15 foot waves) I tended to stick to more normal portions. Waiters were quick to remember what we liked and didn't, especially regarding breads, drinks, and extras such as cracked pepper or cocktail sauce. We had a table for 8 but only 6 of us showed up each night. The third through fifth nights another couple joined us (after checking with the head waiter) so we had our 8. It was much easier to converse at a round table with all the seats filled. Some other tables around us weren't full either and I noticed some other people asking to be moved. I guess that the first seating must have been very full and the second seating not as much. After reading all the literature on rccl.com and the posts on cruisecritic.com I was surprised when I found out there were 2 formal nights on this 5 day cruise. Everything else had said only 1. We were a little unprepared, but I bought DH a $10 tie from the shops on board to give him a different look and I already had a sparely sweater set and black pants that I figured would pass muster (it did). The first formal night was our first at sea day. The highlight of the dinner was the filet mignon and shrimp cocktail. The second formal night was on our second sea day, with a "fisherman's platter" that had a lobster tail and garlic shrimp on it. Several of our tablemates really enjoyed the lamb shank one night. I asked about the brie-stuffed chicken breast, since I'm only supposed to have pasteurized cheese (some brie isn't). I told the waiter to bring me a steak if he couldn't verify where the brie was pasteurized or not. I ended up with the steak (typical RCCL shoe leather). The next day I saw the executive chef and the executive sous chef waiting for a safety briefing by the lifeboats and asked them about the cheese. They told me that all of their cheese is pasteurized and that the waiter only had to check the package. (I detected a little animosity towards the waitstaff.) We usually ate in the dining room for breakfast and lunch, and had no problem getting a table for two when we requested it. They've started a new "Brasserie 30" menu that they promise to have out in 30 minutes. We ordered some pasta one day and it was a little soggy but the sauces were good. We also ordered from room service once for breakfast and once for lunch. I had completed the door hanger for breakfast and had written in a toasted bagel on it, but we didn't get it. The food was very good and was delivery when requested for breakfast, and within 30 minutes for lunch. We did not purchase anything from the coffee bar or from the Ben and Jerry's, though the smell of the baking waffle cones was incredibly hard to resist! With so many desserts available at lunch and dinner it was hard to justify an extra expense for ice cream. My husband was happy to have the daily newsletter with NY Times news briefs as well as a separate newsletter with just sports news. His team is in the NBA playoffs and it was killing him to not be able to watch the games. The newsletters were available each day outside the purser's desk about 10:30 or 11:00 am. We tried to play cribbage in the card room one sea day, but the cribbage board had no pegs (it was glued to a larger board, I guess to prevent theft) so the slot for the pegs was inaccessible. Chairs were in short supply, but there were people playing mahjong, euchre, and a table with a sign saying they were looking for another couple for bridge. There were many board games available, too. We were the youngest ones in the room, though (we're in our mid-30s). Our cabin was well laid out and had a nice big window. We had a small loveseat and a round glass table that just seemed to get in the way. The drawers all seemed to be a little off kilter but I could still open and close them easily. The plastic ceiling tiles seemed to rub and squeak on nights when the seas were rocking and rolling, which was really annoying. We tried to find the squeak, to no avail. There were no shelves in the closet, but there were plenty of hangers. The lightswitch in front of the closet also trips the overhead lights mid cabin and over the bed, so be careful if you are early riser and your cabin mate is still sleeping. The bathroom had what I call the "typical RCCL cruise ship smell" -- a weird combination of sewage and cleansers. We also brought our own air freshener (what a godsend! -- don't leave home without it!). There is no electric plug in the bathroom except for a shaver, so all blow drying and hair curling must be done at the vanity in the cabin. The room safe operated on a four digit code instead of a magnetic-stripe card, which was more convenient. The 13" TV was on a swivel that made it easy turn to watch while in bed or when sitting on the loveseat. Our 26" Samsonite softsided suitcase only fit under the bed once we lifted it up to get it under the bar. Our Samsonite rolling garment bag fit fine. Our Crown and Anchor coupon books were delivered the first night, while the C&A gifts (tote bags this time) weren't delivered until the fourth night. The TV had a nice selection of movies available, oldies ('40s, '50s, '60s) and some that are just out on video now. We did have a difficult time telling when they would start, though. The bow camera is now nonexistent. We used to really enjoy that vantage point, especially when we would pull into port early in the morning. On this ship it only flashed for a few seconds at a time on the "ship info" channel. I asked the hotel director and cruise director about it and they said they no longer do it 24 hours, but that it should be on for more than 2 seconds at a time. We didn't notice any change later in the cruise. There were several movies shown in the theater during the cruise, all ones that aren't out in video yet. The audio was extremely loud though, so we avoided it after the first movie. Also, they scheduled an animated Pixar film for 10:15 pm one evening, which seemed odd to me since most kids are going to bed then... There were 2 comedians on board who were pretty good, but not outstanding. They also did "late night adult comedy" later in the week. Another night was a juggling/comedy act (Wright and Haines) that was pretty good. The cruise ship staff seems to get WAY into BINGO, making annoying public announcements about it every time a new session would start. They didn't announce every other activity, so it seemed like they were only concerned with their bottom line (IMHO). The ship was in very good shape and there was constant cleaning going on. You could see some wear marks on the carpets in some areas, and some of the public lounge areas showed a little age. (What's with those horribly uncomfortable sloped back chairs in the lounges anyway??) The decks looked like they had recently had a rubber slip resistant coating applied in some areas. Elevators didn't seem to take too long to arrive. The weather was too cool for us to want to venture out to the pool area, though we did see people in the hot tubs and kids in the pool. The solarium pool was an area that we didn't really visit. We also did not visit the spa, though our tablemates did and from what they reported it was similar to our other cruises in price and services offered. They did the "pod" destressing treatment and seemed to enjoy it. We used the pressing and laundry service on board. Very reasonable costs and efficient service. It was difficult to stay away from the smoke in the casino, especially since the smoking area was near the main walkway through the casino to the Masquerade Theater, which didn't make sense to me. I guess you could always take the elevators to the theater, bypassing the casino, but that usually didn't make sense for us. We broke even after spending $40 total in the casino, including our C&A coupons for $12 for $10 for slots. We took a shore excursion in San Francisco and it seemed more disorganized than the ones we took on Splendour in Europe. The tickets were delivered to our stateroom and the directions were to "meet on the pier 10 minutes before the departure time." We understood what this meant, because we had taken other RCCL excursions, but our tablemates, who had planned an Alcatraz tour, went to the Fisherman's Wharf pier instead and of course no one there knew what they were talking about, so they bought their own excursion and planned to request a refund from RCCL. They never did tell us whether they were successful with the refund or not. (On other cruises they had us meet in a lounge and gave us stickers with our tour number on it to wear and then led us to the bus from there. On this one we just went to the bus and asked if we were at the right place.) We took our own excursion in Victoria, BC. The captain had said in his announcements the previous day that we would probably dock at 8:00 am instead of 9:00 am, which was fine with us, since our whalewatching cruise left at 10:00 am. Well, we didn't dock until 9:15 and didn't get cleared through customs (the ship, not us personally) until 9:35. We hightailed it to the excursion meeting point and just made it. No whales to be seen, though. :( We did see many bald eagles, dall's porpoises, harbor porpoises, harbor seals, and other birds, though.) The cruise ended in Vancouver, and unfortunately for one man, that may have literally been the end for him, too. A man had a heart attack (or so other passengers were saying) at the buffet line in the Windjammer on the last morning. "Alpha, Alpha, Alpha" alerts were called over the loudspeakers and staff rushed to help him. He did not appear to be conscious. I hope that he was ok. We had requested "express" tickets off the ship since we were staying another night in Vancouver and could easily manage our luggage ourselves. We were called at 8:00 am, right on schedule. The line wasn't very long, and we only had to wait behind one other person at customs. The taxi line was VERY long though (I can only imagine what it was later in the morning!) so we went upstairs and hailed a taxi ourselves before they headed into the queue in the underground parking area. We dropped our luggage at the Hampton Inn and Suites and headed back to Gastown to pick up the hop-on/hop-off trolley ($33 for two days) and toured beautiful Vancouver. One other ship was in port that day, and two more came in the next day, so it was very busy at tourist attractions around town and on the trolleys. The price of this cruise could not be beat ($400/person for 5 nights for an oceanview room) because it was a repositioning cruise. The seas were a little rough a few days, and the weather was much cooler than we thought it was going to be. Gale force winds were experienced on deck several times (Deck 5 was closed a couple of times). But there was plenty to do onboard and it was very relaxing not to feel like we had to have a jam packed schedule each day. We really enjoyed ourselves and are already trying to figure out how our new addition (due in December 2006) will take to cruising and how soon we can plan our next one! Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL Vision of the Seas by Dick Stein LA-Vancouver Coastal May 7, 2006 This was our 11th Royal Caribbean Cruise, our 1st Pacific Coastal Cruise with this line. We did this cruise because the price was right, we ... Read More
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL Vision of the Seas by Dick Stein LA-Vancouver Coastal May 7, 2006 This was our 11th Royal Caribbean Cruise, our 1st Pacific Coastal Cruise with this line. We did this cruise because the price was right, we could visit our daughter in San Diego prior to traveling and we were doing a back to back with HAL to Alaska after. I flew in on America West two days early to spend time with our daughter. She drove us to the pier on Sunday, 60 miles in two hours. Arrived at dock at 11 AM and they took my bags. Embarkation: Arrived at dock, lines for Diamond members were short and we were on the ship at 11:30 AM. Went to the Lido for lunch with our carry on bags as they said the cabins would be ready at 1 PM. Lunch in the lido was fine. The cabin was ready when we finished our lunch. Cabins: The cabin 7572 Balcony cabin was attractively decorated and good sized for the price. The balcony offered privacy and had plastic tables and chairs which we used once in a while. We had a small shower with a fixed shower head. We got bathroom floor wet trying to take each shower. Cabin service was efficient and unobtrusive. The bed could have used a new mattress and the room was small, but adequate for 5 days. There was barely enough closet and drawer space. My wife liked what they had on the TV. Public Areas: The public areas are nice and the ship never feel crowded. Shops had little we desired. They had good shows on board and the singers and dancers were good. The bars had a large Fosters for a decent price that I got all cruise long. There was plenty of activities to keep you busy all day. Dining: I requested 2nd seating dining and got a large table for 10 where we felt like part of a crowd, but we had a good waiter. We ate all our meals here except when we were in port and the main restaurant was closed for lunch. They did not have many juices or yogurt for breakfast. They are things I normally get on RCCL. We went to the open seating for breakfast and lunch in the Dining room every day we could. The attendance in the main dining rooms was far less that capacity due to number eating in Lido. The food in the main dining room was acceptable, but not even close to Celebrity in quality. We had pizza, and hot dogs several times for a snacks. The food in the Lido was decent. Tours: We did tours in Victoria. In Victoria we visited Butchart Gardens, a favorite of my wifes (our third time there). The tour and bus were fine. In San Francisco we were docked too far from Fishermans wharf to walk anything of interest so we stayed on ship. Disembarkation was smooth. We were off the ship at 9 AM, and on the Quick Shuttle to Seattle at 10:30 AM. We were at the Seattle Airport at 3 PM and at our Motel at 4 PM.. Overall, I was not satisfied, but will consider this line again due to my past cruises with them and the value I get for my money. My main complaints were the mattress, lack of dining I am used too and quality of food. I did enjoy the Diamond benefits and that made up for some of the other short comings. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
Vision of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 3.5 3.8
Entertainment 3.5 3.5
Public Rooms 3.5 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 3.5 3.3
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates N/A 4.2

Find a Vision of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click