Overall this was a quick getaway and much needed relaxation and fun. This is a great itinerary and ship for couples who need to unwind. If you are looking for adventure and entertainment, this is not the ship for you.
4 out of 5
Absolutely fantastic except for one hiccup. They only had 2 scanning lines to board the ship and there were 2 ultra sensitive and picky inspectors that looked like they were practicing to be secret service inspecting every minor details. One line brisked through TSA inspections while the other line, was a slow crawl.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
The waiters worked hard but I want to explain the lower rating. I have been on 20 cruises over the past 20 years; I have noticed a steady decline in service overall. Our 2 waiters had to cover far too many tables which caused a bit a wait time to get service. Personally, cruise-lines have pushed more of their Specialty Restaurant offerings at the expense of the complimentary main dining room. There was a time when we were serviced by 3 waiters and now it is just 2 waiters and those 2 waiters have to service more tables than in years past. It makes sense, you have the same waiters servicing more paying restaurants and the capacity size for crew is not growing to keep up with the demand for service. I have been on Royal Caribbean and the service has been better. Again, the waiters worked hard, I did not receive bad service, the food was great, the service was slow and they had to service too many tables which is the fault of Royal Caribbean and not the waiters. The Windjammer Buffet was great. I just wish people would monitor their children more. (that is a different story)
2 out of 5
The Vision of the Seas is just too small of a ship without all the amenities now being offered in 2018. When this ship goes into dry dock, I would like to see more outside entertainment options.
2 out of 5
There was a major decrease in entertainment (i.e. no quaint/intimate comedy shows, Broadway shows,) most of the entertainment on this ship requires guests to perform. The nightly entertainment seemed more of an afterthought. We were not able to attend the Love and Marriage show because it was presented after the complimentary Kids Program hours. 20 cruises, this is the first time we missed the show because we could not bring the children (not that we wanted to either) On other ships, the Couple show is usually at an earlier time so that parents can attend while their children are elsewhere.
2 out of 5
My children loved the Kid's program once they were there. I think they need to extend the complimentary hours to 10:30 or 11pm like other cruise-lines. However, the check in and out procedure was ABYSMAL(it took 15 to 18 minutes to check in my 2 children after complaining to guest services and the Adventure Ocean Supervisor Maria "Mermaid" Teresa. The 1st and 2nd night took 24 to 30 mins to check my children in. She explained that it was a smaller ship and this is the best they could do as they did not have the scanning capability as on the larger ships. I explained they could print an "Excel" spreadsheet of all the registered children by alphabetical order and the parents could, initial, date, or time stamp. Instead each parent had to write each child individually along with the parent's name, time, and initial. If we were trying to get to a show, we got there late; we had to leave the show early in order to wait in the long line not to mention the 10pm end of complimentary service. I have been on 20 cruises with 4 different cruise-lines and this by far was the worst Kid's check-in experience.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Our cabin steward was good. However, she never formally introduced herself to us. We had to seek her out, find out who she was, where she was from, and introduce ourselves.
As for guest services, I had an issue with my final bill. I was charged for something I did not order. I inquired at guest services to find out what the charge was for and I was informed it was a dining room charge. Malina Wagner Marra-Lopez in guest services told me she would take care of it for me and offer me a credit back on to my credit card. However, upon arriving back home, I noticed and received an email of my final bill that was not fixed or taken off my bill. I am still waiting for Royal Caribbean to post a credit on my credit card. I am so disappointed this was not taken care of by guest services prior to debarkation. There is no in-cabin capability to check your bill otherwise I would have caught the error sooner. Instead you have to wait in the huge line to receive a print out my bill which is not appealing while you are on vacation.
5 out of 5
As usual, Royal Caribbean puts a lot of money into their ships and decor. The ship is well maintained and beautifully decorated. I love they have designated smoking spots. I did not feel accosted by unwanted second hand smoke. The areas are clean and accessible. The Masquerade theater has the most comfortable seats. In dry dock, the ship needs more outside amenities for children like other ships.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
The ship's announcer should seek the advice of the cabin stewards before announcing to the entire ship and all passenger's "rooms were inspected and ready for use." The Cabin Stewards were still working, the floor needed attention, the bathroom was not available, and the sofa was still in cleaning preparation. (I know cabins are not readily available upon embarkation as I wait patiently, but the ship should not announce readiness, if the cabins are not ready.)
The cabin was well laid out with plenty of space for a family of 4 with room to maneuver with the beds expanded all day. The cruise shower was extremely small in comparison to other ships. This was the smallest cruise shower I have ever had. If you want ice, you must request it through guest services as it is not standard.
This ship is best for adults as there is not much for children to do outside of the Kid's program: Adventure Ocean. Royal Caribbean should consider adding another ship to accommodate 5 day itineraries for families with children considering nearly 1.5 million cruisers come through Galveston per year. Overall, the Cruise Industry should consider mandating children 12 to 17 either are in a supervised program on-board or with their adult-aged guardian. No one would consider allowing their children to run around freely and unsupervised in a school setting of just 800 people and 100 adults, this would be crazy. Why would parents allow their under-aged children to walk around freely in a floating resort of over 2,700 strangers? I suspect nothing will change until several children fall victim to a tragic incident before policies change. This ship should also invest in more nightly entertainment such as more comedy shows for families and adults. More shows that do not involve the passenger guests performing or perhaps a magic show.
Cozumel is Cozumel. Almost every ship from Galveston sails here. I have been there; done that. However, I never tire of the gorgeous teal waters that are excellent for viewing, photos, snorkeling and underwater adventures. Although bargain shopping is good, the locals do not haggle as much as they used to simply because they do not have to. If you don't buy it, the next 3,600 passengers will buy it tomorrow. My advice: find something you like, if it is not the price you want to pay, skip it and walk away. They will either change the price or not.
Do not bother. The only thing I liked was the pier and I only liked it for the photo pictures I took of the water in the background. The pier is long and desolate. There is nothing much to see as we took a tour and although informative, I was not very impressed. Somehow, the money generated from port charges does not seem to filter to the people. I am thankful to help some with my tourism dollars, but I don't see much many re-invested into the town.
2 out of 5
I would not describe this as organized chaos. I would describe it as chaotic. We had to line our luggage in a line in the Atrium while waiting somewhere else. When it was time to disembark, hundreds of passengers had to make way to their luggage which was counterproductive. Please don't get me started on the customs agent as that is for another venue. Let's just say, there is room for improvement.
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