Vision of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Purser

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

Celebrating family ties in Cozumel

Sail Date: June 19, 2014

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Family (older children)

Room Type: Suite

My sisters, my niece, and I took this 5 day cruise to Cozumel to have time to be together.  We had 2 rooms, and our steward, Julian, did a great job of making sure that our rooms were spotless, comfortable, and our ice bucket was filled every day.  The entertainment on the cruise was pretty awful, except for the first night when a very talented young man sang everything from Beyonce' to classical music.  Everybody's taste is different, though, so maybe you would enjoy the juggler and the broadway... This is a small ship.  Our rooms were near the Centrum, so we never had to go far to get to anything- a great plus because of my limited mobility.  The main pool was always very crowded on sea days, but the Solarium (adults only) was quite nice.  Unfortunately, some young adults don't know how to act, but security showed up within two minutes when a group of drunk over 16s showed up and cannonballed into a very small pool crowded with real adults who really were'nt there to get their hair wet.  The food was pretty good.  We didn't eat in the specialty restaurants, but the food in the main dining room was excellent- and the food in the Windjammer Cafe' was equally as good as the dining room food, with more selections available.  In Cozumel we did "Resort for a Day"- really the highlight of our trip.  I had reserved 4 spaces at El Cozumeleno Resort which gave us access to the ocean, their pools and facilities, free drinks (weak cocktails but the house wine and beer was fine), lunch (excellent Mexican buffet in a rustic screened dining room right at the water's edge) and we could have dined in the main dining room if we had wanted to change out of our bathing suits.  There were plenty of umbrellas, unlimited dry towels.  It only cost $21USD (with tip) for all four of us to take a taxi to the resort.  When you finally thread your way through the myriad shops leading from the pier to the taxi stand they have it quite organized: just like getting a taxi in New York, you stand in line and the wait was less than ten minutes.  I highly recommend this way to spend the day in Cozumel.  It is not offered in the Excursions, I found it through an email sent by .  One last thing, if you're not tired of reading yet.  Port Lauderdale is a great port to sail from.  We had hired a driver to get us to the terminal (I wouldn't have wanted to find terminal 21 in that rabbit warren of a pier) but once you were in the terminal itself there were relatively few lines and the walk (I use a walker because of advanced arthritis) to the actual ship was the shortest of any pier I've sailed from. (Sailed out of Seattle, New York, Baltimore, Amsterdam, and Canaveral)

Ship Quality
Royal Caribbean had recently completely refurbished this ship. I think they did a fantastic job.
Food and Dining
You would have to be a really picky eater not to find great food on this ship. The offerings in the main dining room went from escargot to chicken. On two of the four nights I had some of the best prime rib and filet mignon that I have had anywhere (including some of the best steakhouses in Chicago). The selections in the buffet line were incredible. European style breakfast was available with meats and hard cooked eggs, fresh fruit of the highest quality, and you could stand in line to get a made to order omelet if you wanted. There were cold cereals, muesli, grits and oatmeal- waffles and pancakes, I can't think of a single breakfast food that wasn't available. Lunch in the Park Cafe' was outstanding as well, pit beef hand carved, cuban sandwiches, fries. All excellent. Fish and vegetarian options were also available at each restaurant.
Service and Staff
Except for the bar waiter that we had in the main dining room, everyone was trying very hard to make sure that you had everything that you needed. Although gratuities are automatically added to your bill, most people do tip at the end of the cruise for special services rendered by the staff, so they are always trying their hardest to please you. Little things like calling you by name and suggesting ways that they could help you.
They made a big deal about the acrobats in the Centrum- but their act was only so-so and it only lasted for about seven minutes. Except for the first night, the performers went from average to awful. In some cases it was a casting problem. They had a very excellent gospel singer, that I enjoyed later in the show, singing what should have been a quiet song from West Side Story, "Somewhere" off key and belting it out. I really had to stick my fingers in my ears, it was incredibly awful. The juggler was an older gentleman who should be retired, he was boring!!
Children's Programs No children with us so no opinion.
Onboard Activities Again, unless you like to gamble, there were the same on-board things that seniors just aren't interested in. We didn't go to any onboard actiivities so I have no way of judging
Destinations and Excursions
It seemed like this itinerary was an excuse to crawl to Cozumel so that the casios could stay open for four days. I loved Cozumel- we could have been in port for 3 days. The boat was travelling at an average speed of 11 knots. It felt like we were floating there. On the other hand, I didn't see any seasick passengers at all, so I guess slow is good for that. We weren't interested in any of the offered Excursions, but doing a "Resort for a Day" was fabulous. I highly recommend El Cozumeleno resort- you won't be disappointed. Far better than crawling over dusty hot ruins in the Mexican heat.
Cabin / Stateroom This was a handicap accessible room. Huge, and wonderful. It had a wonderful shower with a hand held showerhead and drop down seat. Grab bars everywhere really helped me to get around, and the extra space made maneuvering my wheelchair easy.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida
Don't drive and park unless you have to. This is a great port for ease of getting on and off the ship, but even our experienced driver had difficulty finding our terminal.
Cozumel, Mexico
The resort El Cozumeleno was awesome.

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