Smooth Transatlantic Voyage

Vision of the Seas Cruise Review to Transatlantic

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 9
Helpful Votes: 106

Overall rating:

4.8 out of 5
Vision of the Seas

13 Night Transatlantic Westbound (Barcelona To Miami)

Sail date: October 18, 2018

Ship: Vision of the Seas

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 4042

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

Vision is a lovely ship. There weren't a lot of kids onboard which is why I selected the longer off peak itineray. As usual what the smaller class ships lack in bells, whistles and modernity, they make up for in personality, service, and charm. The captain was new. I was so looking forward to sailing with the captain that everyone raved about, but that was not to be. I still had a marvelous time. It would be pretty hard not to with Steve and Talitta at the helm. Their energy is infectious. I would defintely sail Vision again. I would have loved to done the Panama Canal cruise on this vessel. One day soon.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
The Barcelona passenger terminal was organized and the luggage drop-off to ship entrance took about 20 minutes. That includes stopping to pose for the embarkation photo. There wasn't a Diamond Lounge area but once I showed my Sea Pass card they allowed me to board with the Suite guests.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Food was good especially in the specialty restaurants. The MDR quality has gone down slightly, but they may have had something to do with ship heading for dry dock so they didn't replenish supplies and looked to be clearing the pantries and piecing together meals that were edible if not extravagant or memorable. Best steak was at Giovanni's. The cut may not have been superior to those at Chops, but the preparation was by far the best. The waitstaff as usual did their thing and went above and beyond at all venues including Windjammer. I like that they added an order queue for the omelets with someone taking the order and passing it to the chefs which made the line move more fluidly. The ship could use one more dining venue. A pub like restaurant that serves fish and chips and the like for days when nothing else is appealing, but you're hungry and just want the basics.

Viking Crown Lounge

5 out of 5

I love the Viking Crown lounge. The views are amazing and it's usually a quiet space during the day time. The ship had so many activities and so few meeting spaces that it was used for daily meetings on this cruise for different events, but primarily the self led knitting and needlework gatherings. Those gals can be chatty. I enjoyed the evening mocktails that Felix the bartender from Jamaica dished up for me in this venue. They also didn't close down the entire lounge for the Diamond Plus/Concierge event. So regular cruisers could still use a portion of the lounge. On one ship, I was always asked to leave. That didn't happen on this ship.

Main Dining Room

4 out of 5

MDR is always a wonderful experience. The menu this time around was fairly uninspiring, but I think this had more to do with the upcoming drydock so it didn't make since to overstock the pantries and it made more sense to make due and deplete the reserves.

Windjammer Marketplace

5 out of 5

Plentiful food and as always one of the busiest places on the ship. The staff worked hard to keep the offerings refreshed and tables cleared.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
The usual fare consisting of Bingo, Trivia, Art Auctions, dance classes. There were also enrichment lectures focused on CSI crime scene forensics and investigations. Language classes (Spanish and Portuguese). Cruise Director Steve was great. Loved activities director, Talitta. They were a very high energy duo. The Centrum zumba and dance classes were a highlight, as well as the evening shows performed by entertainment staff in the Centrum. That was a nice use of the space and an extra perk in addition to the theatre performances. It was nice to see the Thriller performance done on Halloween. My fellow passengers went all out and they pulled it off phenomenally. Great job on everyone's part. A priest was onboard so mass was held regularly and a non-denominational service was held on Sundays.

Day Spa and Fitness Center

4 out of 5

The spa treatments are very relaxing. As usual the upselling lessens the experience and even with them automating the gratuity for the spa service, they still want you to leave an extra and excessive tip. I'm a fan of tipping but they behave like you have money to give away. And unlike the dining venues that are reasonably and competitively priced, the spa services are overpriced so the salon is already being paid well.

Solarium

5 out of 5

Love the solarium and the Park Café. Quiet relaxing space. The deck outside of the solarium was fairly under used. This worked to my advantage. The weather was beautiful so I was lucky to have this area to myself until others stumbled upon it and when they weren't playing shuffleboard above.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
On a 13 night TA, I would have expected more main production shows from the ship's entertainment staff. They did two productions in the main theatre. The outsourced entertainers were talented. Pianst, violinst, comedians were all well received. I like the matinee shows that were done. A couple of nights I went to bed early and missed the show. It was nice to see follow up matinee performances scheduled in theatre throughout the cruise. Afternoon movies in the main theatre and by the pool in the evening. Most were family friendly.

Masquerade Theater

4 out of 5

The seats were comfy and the shows were entertaining. Most seating had an excellent view. I like the Main Productions done by RCL singers and dancers so I was a little surprised that they only did a couple of shows on a two week transatlantic. The performances done by the RCL singers and dancers in the Centrum were fun and used the space to its fullest advantage.

Children's Programs

Solo cruiser

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
As always, the staff aimed to please. My most memorable experiences were the constant follow up done by MDR Team when I didn't show up consistently for meals. They called the room a couple of times and left calling cards with the stateroom attendant requesting me to check-in to see if there was anything special I needed. I did the Champagne Brunch with Galley Tour. I finished the meal ahead of the other guests and didn't feel like waiting for them to complete their meals before dessert was served. I left and went to Chops to see if they had any Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. They said it was only served for dinner, and they couldn't sell me just the cake. Understandable. And yet they asked me to wait and they went to get me a slice of the cake anyway. I had dinner at Giovanni's a couple of nights later. I was too stuffed for dessert so I said I would pass. The host came over and said don't go anywhere. I know what will change your mind. He went to Chops and got a slice of their Red Velvet cake and a glass of ice cold milk. Talk about delivering the WoW. And yes, magically, I had room for dessert; even though he had prepared it To Go. I don't drink alcohol so Felix in the Viking Crown lounge mixed up delicious juices that even the folks that drank alcohol were asking for and they wanted the virgin version, no less - too funny. So many positive interactions with staff and crew.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Grandeur is one of my favorite ships so I'm accustomed to the layout and style of this class of ships. I'll take the smaller vessels with their personal touches over the larger vessels with the bells and whistles. The ship was tidy and clean. That being said, it was going into drydock to be refreshed after we disembarked.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The room was a nice size. The location was great I was central to everything. You don't hear noise from the centrum once the door closes. The ship motion was minimal. (the crossing was uneventful). We had nice weather for the transatlantic crossing. Closet space was ample (solo cruiser). Stateroom attendant was attentive, personable, and room was cleaned thoroughly twice a day. I sometimes have to make the request for them to run the vacuum. That wasn't necessary this time around.

Ship tip

If you don't have a dining package, multiple visits to your favorite speciaty dining venue could net you a discount.

Ports of call

Barcelona, Spain

5 out of 5
Barcelona is an excellent port city. It is walakbel and there is plenty to see and do. The port is not too far from central tourist area Las Ramblas.

Cartagena, Spain

5 out of 5
Cartagena is also a walkable port city. There is plenty of history. I loved visiting the castle.

Malaga, Spain

5 out of 5
Very scenic ride to the countryside. It was worthwile to visit the caves.

Ponta Delgada, Azores

5 out of 5
Unfortunately it was slightly overcast so we didn't get to see the glory of the blue green lake that the city is famous for, but it was a lovely visit and we had a nice nice hike to the viewing site the craters lakes. We also got to see remanants of the Roman aqueducts which are still in excellent condition. It's hard to believe the ingenuity that preceded us without the help of modern technology. The downtown architecture is beautiful. The city gardens are equally amazing.

Nassau, Bahamas

5 out of 5
I stayed on the ship. I've been to Nassau quite a few times and love it. The locals can be understandably aggressive, but I've never felt threatened or feared for my safety when I was in port.

Miami, Florida

5 out of 5
The ony thing I don't like about Miami, it usually signifies the end of a good time. Great city with high energy. As the disembarkation stop, I was not looking forward to this port stop.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
Nervewracking to nofault of the cruiseline or Customs. I usually like to hang back and allow those in a hurry to disembark. I ask for the latest disembarkation I can get-normally. This time around I was one of those people in a hurry since I had to get to work. No early flight out of MIA means I had to hightail it to FLL. Naturally, there was a delay with Customs so no early departure like those that boast they were off the ship at the crack of dawn. Luckily, I made my 10:10 flight. I won't try any earlier than that since you just never know with Customs. I shared a ride with another gentleman, I sure hope he made his flight which was at 9:00. We got to the airport at 8:40ish.
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