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About RCCL Fan

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Colleyville, TX
  • Interests
    travel, kids, current events, real estate, cooking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Labadee, Roatan, St. Maarten, Grand Cayman

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  1. Thanks for the quick review. We’re booked on her this fall and I’ve been concerned about her upkeep. Some staff on Vision told me, “she’s just not nearly as well maintained as this ship.” Sounds like she still held her course with you. I look forward to my first time on her.
  2. The owner is very helpful, he suggested the taxi over the trolley to me. Just follow my instructions of how to get there and you will be fine. Ignore the people in the green shirts and look for the tropicante staff in the pink shirts and once you’re there you’ll be fine
  3. Before my recent cruise on Vision, I logged on to our account to purchase our drink package, only to find out my cruise didn't exist. Huh? Bought and paid in full months earlier. Turns out when I called and added a C&A number earlier somehow our cruise got "re-priced" at the current rate, which was higher than what I paid and it now showed a balance due. in the middle of the night, computer saw that a balance was due and we were well past final payment and it cancelled our reservation and released the cabin. My TA blamed Royal, and Royal blamed the TA. Nonetheless, despite me paying for my cruise, and set to leave in just a few days, I now had no reservation, the ship was sold out, and my cabin had been given to someone else. RCI wanted to put me on another ship, but wasn't going to cover the airfare for me to get to the other ship. There were lots of calls to supervisors and my TA on the phone for hours before finally I got notice that the people they had sold my room too were no longer going and I could have my room back. My guess --- they got a call like the OP and they convinced them to go on some other ship.
  4. Final Thoughts & The Verdict This cruise was an attempt to try something new for us. We're new to Texas and don't have experience driving to the port. We also have not sailed routes to Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya We have not sailed many of RCI's smaller ships, we usually go for bigger & newer As a family with two young kids, our little ones love things like the Dreamworks parades, boardwalk with carousel, and the ice skating rink. Oasis class ships also have the kid-theater, science lab, and a very large Adventure Ocean with multiple spaces, it works really well for our family. After moving to Texas we still flew to Florida to sail Allure... After dropping more than 7K for cruise and airfare... we found a 2K all in on Vision I handed over the credit card. But we were super concerned about going from one of the company's biggest ships to one of their smallest. We sat the kids down and explained that we would spend a lot of pool time and relaxing time instead of action packed schedule time. We had been on one smaller ship as a family... Serenade. My wife enjoyed it but I felt bored quite a bit. I remember the first 2 sea days feeling like I was going to go crazy if I didn't get off the ship soon. Our oldest daughter loved AO, but otherwise she was bored too. Our youngest was still in a stroller then. So what would Vision have in store? Well.... WE LOVED THIS SHIP!!! As I mentioned earlier the staff on this ship was amazing. CC and her staff truly made this cruise spectacular. I was reminded of cruises of yesteryear. Tons of games, tons of trivia, and personality, and giving out Royal Caribbean key chains like they were hundred dollar bills. I haven't been on a cruise that did that in YEARS. Brings me back to Monarch and Viking Serenade where we did lots of fun games all the time. The staff truly made up for the fact that the ship didn't have as many "attractions" and quite honestly it was this kind of cruising that had me fall in love with cruising in the first place. I can't remember the last time I was fighting it out in silly dance contests for a keychain, but I can remember being in the sexy legs contest on Monarch, and the battle of the sexes on Nordic Empress and now we can add vision to the list. The activities staff made this cruise spectacular. Let me tell you what else we loved.... our cabin. 8048. We were on deck 8, one deck down from the pool. Two up from deck 6 where most everything was. We were centrally located and never felt like we were walking all over the place to get somewhere. We also often get separated on the bigger ships. If I go somewhere with the kids, and my wife is by the pool or in the room, forget it. It's impossible to find each other. We just know we'll reconnect by dinner. Not on vision, it was easy to wander a bit and find your traveling companions there's just not as many places to look. While our past "smaller ships" of serenade and celeb reflection left me longing for something to do many days, I never felt bored on this ship. There was always something going on, and something to go do. The size also was a benefit for our 10 year old. We're overprotective, I'll admit it. I know many parents let their kids wander the ship, and have some freedom in somewhat of a smaller environment. Not us. Kids have to be with us, and no we don't allow her to sign herself out of Adventure Ocean. It just makes us uncomfortable. On this ship, my oldest kept asking for some freedom. Because it was a smaller ship we felt more comfortable granting it. She didn't get free reign at night, or the ability to sign herself out of AO. But while we were sitting at dinner, and the youngest was forced to sit there until she had 3 more bites of her fruit, we allowed the oldest to walk to ben and jerry's for dessert. Vision helped us feel more comfortable giving her freedoms we wouldn't give on an Oasis class ship. Yes --- I complained a lot about the motion. It was really one of my only two dislike s of this sailing the motion and the size of Adventure Ocean. My kids love Adventure Ocean but they refused to go on this ship. They had too many kids onboard, and the Adventure Ocean simply wasn't big enough to handle them properly. They really need to limit the 4-person cabins they book with kids during spring break. I thought they would have learned their lesson, but kids sail free is going on right now and spring break week cruises have the sale next year out of Galveston. Not only was a not ready to get off the ship, I would have gladly stayed onboard and gone another week. Vision leaves Galveston for Europe in a few months and will be replaced by Enchantment. Now, I've been told Enchantment isn't maintained as well as Vision and the staff isn't as strong as it's a ship that's focused on 4-5day cruises rather than 7+ but we're still signed up. Going again later this year. My only hesitation about that cruise is that we booked a Grand Suite.... meaning it's ALL THE WAY FORWARD... where the motion is worse. I really wish I could downgrade to a JS in the middle of the ship, but the JS is more expensive now than what I paid for the GS. I'm not going to pay more to downgrade. So we'll see what happens on Enchantment this fall. We're looking at next Spring Break right now.... my wife wants to fly to San Juan and take vision on the southern route. We still need to get on Liberty, out of TX, but I can do two 5-days on Enchantment for less than Liberty. I figure if I'm paying that much I'd rather be on Oasis. We decided that perhaps our sweet spot would be Voyager class... big enough to offer kids a bit more and handle the motion of the ocean, but not so big that we don't feel the intimacy of the ship. Luckily Adventure was announced to be heading to Texas in 2020, so we will soon get a chance to try it out. I'm still hoping this terminal RCI is building in TX will bring us an Oasis class or Icon class ship. (Icon may be a stretch --- but hey we've got the natural gas resources to fill the tanks!) We encourage families who are nervous about the smaller and older ships, to not worry. Roll the dice, and enjoy it. It may not have the bells and whistles, but it has the keychains and smiles. Thanks for following along --- Happy sailing everyone.
  5. Yeah it's kinda funny.... I was very hohum. My wife really enjoyed it. We ordered drinks at the exact same time, hers was great, mine was horrible. I guess it's just one of those things.... personal preference? lack of consistency? influence of Mexican gods? Who Knows?
  6. I mean I have to say , I was really looking forward to this place, but was so underwhelmed. Made me wonder about the reviews, there was one that talked about "cheese sticks not being anything like normal cheese sticks, you have to try them" Well, I did they were typical frozen cheese sticks. sigh. Mr. Sanchos it's always visited by so many, but it looks super crowded, and that's not me at all. Maybe it's worth a shot, next time. Either that or Paradise Beach. As many times as I've been to Cozumel, you'd think I'd have this figured out by now.
  7. Calling a 10 year old "stupid" is what sent me over the top. And when the boys mom called her out on it, she said, "Well he did a stupid thing" Even my kid got teary over the way she was speaking to this kid.
  8. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2648157-vision-our-family-sees-a-different-side-of-royal/
  9. Happy St. Patrick's Day! We always sail during Spring Break week and always wind up on a ship for St. Paddy's day. So part of packing including bringing along a lot of green for this day on board. Of course after three days in a row of getting up early and being out in the sun all day, this is the day when you start to realize you need a vacation from your vacation. So once again I was up --- and the little ones slept in. Once we got moving the formal dining room was closed --- which means for the past 7 days I have tried to get to the formal dining room for breakfast and for 7 days in a row it didn't happen. So off to the windjammer where yet again my youngest insists on sitting at the table at the very front over looking the bow of the ship... which is just lovely on this ship where you feel the waves so much. There were quite a few breakfasts where I was worried I would make it and keep my meals down, and I'm sure being at the very front doesn't help, but I'm a sucker for that little face. This morning was a busy one, we had an invitation for a tour of the bridge from the captain. However, it was 30 minutes before the Egg Drop challenge, where you have to design a contraption that will safely hold an egg dropped from the top of the Centrum to the bottom. My 10 year old science nerd was all over this. My science kid also cares immensely about the ship and how it works. There was a huge panic here about which to do. She finally settled on the bridge tour. We go to the area to meet for the tour and turns out I got the time wrong, and we missed it! Egg Drop was starting and because she had chosen the bridge tour she had finished her contraption and she couldn't enter. Oh was she disappointed and I felt responsible I didn't know what to do. I reached out to the concierge and asked if there was anyway we could join the bridge tour in progress --- no luck. Then thankfully I ran into cruise director CC by the elevators and asked her for a lifeline. She took one look at my teary kid sulking in a chair in the centrum and offered to help. She took the girls on a backstage tour of the theater. We got to watch a few minutes of rehearsal and then go backstage very briefly and see the props and meet the singers & dancers. My daughter's other love besides science is performing this was right up her alley. Not only had I made the day for her --- but the youngest was about to pee her pants. You see she had become totally and completely obsessed with CC. We don't know what it is. She watched her on TV whenever she was on TV. Eyes glued frozen on the screen, she always stopped and listened when she announced an act at the theater, and she would proudly announce, "Guys it's CC!" As some of you know I'm a TV News reporter so it's normal for her to see me and my friends on TV, it wasn't that. But for whatever reason, CC was the bomb. So she was thrilled to be hand and hand with CC, and life was good again. We did catch some of the Egg Drop Challenge --- my wife was like wow did people bring stuff from home for this? It was elaborate! My older daughter goes, "Dad I would have embarrassed myself, I wasn't prepared, I'm glad you messed up the times" Whew! After the Egg Drop was a cookie decorating contest and a huge Mickey Mouse cake in the Centrum. I wouldn’t let the girls do the cookie decorating because the crew set out a ton of bowls with sprinkles and candies and what not and gloves for the kids to use to grab the candies Not a single kid used gloves So it was a million grubby kid hands reaching in the bowls I was like... uh no. We’ll just have cake. A couple of us were wondering if Disney Cruises would approve of this.... but I tell you what our kids sure did. We had planned a pool day today --- but we hit yet another storm. Sailed right through rain and winds and we were rocking and rolling again. We had great weather on the islands but getting down there and now going back was no picnic. So.... we hit up the windjammer for a late lunch --- and as the kids proclaimed, OUR LAST WINDJAMMER MEAL!!! We marked the moment with no a no rules meal. Get whatever you want and enjoy. French fries dipped in chocolate cake, with an apple and some bread and butter was the most unusual. We did our usual last day routine. Buy photographer pictures, hit up the shops, and check the bill for mistakes, all done with total ease. NO long lines, not even at guest relations! I was even able to get packed and have the bags out on time for the first time ever on a cruise. Also have to mention the passenger talent show --- wow there was some talent sailing on this ship. One thing that was so cool was one of the dance teams from one of the colleges was on-board and performed. We headed to our last dinner and the staff all sang, and they spoke about the unity on their ship. They talked about how they're all from different parts of the world and how their crew was even more diverse than your typical cruise ship. They said they all get along, and love working together and really encouraged everyone to love one another despite their differences. It was a nice message to take home with and was received well by the guests in the dining room. All the head waiters made their way to the table to talk tonight. I told my wife, they always seem to come on the last night, but this was the first time ever that when they came, we already knew each of them from earlier in the cruise and they knew us. It was a super nice change. There was one supervisor who came and gave the kids a connect the dots activity to do, he would pop by all the time with little activities for the kids, and they ate it up. Since I packed earlier, we were all set to enjoy a late night on the ship. We had to go see the production show the girls had a sneak peek of earlier in the day. They loved seeing it with all the costumes.... and the youngest was so happy to see CC in her fancy green dress. My darling wife had to use our free casino pull, so we passed through the casino --- where the girls were fascinated by one of those old 80's plasma static electricity balls. We stayed up late because we had some friends going on their first cruise ever. They left earlier in the day on Liberty and we were going to pass each other in the night and had to do a big wave... they were off to Roatan, starting the week we were ending. Off to bed and back to reality. I'll skip ahead to Day 8 We finally got up early enough to make breakfast in the formal dining room --- lol we had our last meal and then headed off the ship. Friends warned us the Galveston terminal can be hectic --- but nope. Super simple . Walked off, grabbed our bags,and then right through customs. I think the smaller ship made it very easy. I will share this --- it really makes my blood boil just thinking about it. We were in line for customs and their was a family in the line next to us. Their boy was about 10 years old and he was helping slide the bags forward. He lost his grip on one of the bags and it fell backwards. The handle landed right on the woman behind him, square only her toe as she wore open toed shoes. She yelled out a huge expletive, followed by , "You stupid kid!" She then fell to the floor and began to grab her toe and yell out in pain. She then repeated her insult to the boy, who welled up in tears. She says, "Is no one going to help me? Your son just broke my toe, and you're not even going to say you're sorry or offer to help." The mom replied, "No we're not, you called our son stupid, it was clearly an accident and he was a child." Meanwhile two kids with her are standing their with noses running that they are wiping on the pants of someone else. What a mess. Everyone in line just walked on and left her sitting there, because she was being so dramatic and screaming at this child. My wife goes, "I don't even see any blood." After that drama, we caught the shuttle back to the hotel, hopped in the minivan to head home. Up Next.... final thoughts on our voyage on the small ship!
  10. Uptown --- Riverbend area. Enjoy Freedom, she's a great ship
  11. So sorry for the delay. It’s been a busy work week! Almost done!
  12. Day 6.... Cozumel For most of my career I’ve worked nights, so waking up early has never been my strong suit. Today it happened. I was wide awake predawn and wouldn’t get back to sleep. I hopped up and went upstairs to the pool deck and have a look around. As I hit the open air, I saw independence of the Seas was sailing right next to us as everyone was sailing in to start the day. I always love seeing Indy in port, as my wife and I invited our family and friends onboard as we were married. She’s a little different these days with the new trampoline Orange ball thing on back. I watched as the sun rose and all the different ships began to appear and head for their spot at the pier. This cruise was all about seeing a new side of RCI we also saw a new pier in Cozumel. I’ve been to this little island 20+ times on RCI ships. But this time for the first time we didn’t dock at the international pier but instead at the downtown pier. Indy and brilliance had the international pier locked up, so we were bumped and sent down the shore. I Loved it! There were no crowds. Easy off and back on. Not the maze of shops you have to walk through at the international pier.... still had to go through some but much more open and easy. Not trying to be political but had to laugh as we got to senior frogs and got their take on the border wall. Senor Frogs/Carlos n Charlie’s has a many memories in my head from my single days. But today we’re going to reflect on one with my wife from several years ago. We had been hanging out downtown and were headed back to the ship when she says she needed to use the restroom and wanted to pop in Senor Frogs (which may have been cnc back then) I’m waiting outside holding the bags from shopping but after about 15 or 20 minutes of waiting I was worried about her. Did she get sick from lunch?? I go in to hope I can send someone in the ladies room to check on her, but as I went inside and found my wife in a Conga line doing shots. All while I sat outside holding the bags. So she had to snap an photo outside to remember that day. We’re embracing new today by also not going to the national park like we do every single visit to Cozumel. We always sit in the same area and always somehow have the same waiter and my daughter swears she seems the exact same blue fish when she snorkels. Instead we want to Nachi Cocum this time as we’ve heard such good things. The drive was the usual route just much further down the beach. Despite our reservations, upon arrival we were told there were no more chairs under the shaded canopies. We were offered some chairs under a few trees but the shade they provided was pretty minimal. I will say it was super quiet... and unlike the national park where the water is mainly for diving, this had a very nice beach that was perfect for the kids. No mojitos here.... which instantly had me disappointed in the all inclusive pkg, but I ordered a margarita and made best of it. Didn’t like the drink. And my food was ho hum. Not the rave reviews I read. Don’t get me wrong everything was was fine, just not great. The Mrs. loved her drinks and food. So to each his own. Service we both agreed was slow. It was hard to order your moneys worth as he just wasn’t around much. Specifically ordered grilled fresh, got fried... never got dessert, it just didn't leave me on a good note. We spent a lot of time in the pool and talking to other guests, oddly enough we found two sets of families from not just our city but our little suburb. I spent a lot of time with the girls, and catching back up with the world on the free wifi. Overall it was a nice relaxing day. We hopped a taxi back downtown and made our way through the shops. I was convinced both kids NEEDED ukuleles, and we stopped for some photos before heading back to the ship. This is always the hardest walk --- knowing the next time you step on land it will be because you're leaving the ship for good. Back on board the ship, we watched the pilot hop off and hit up the nightly party... Remember the story from earlier in the review of my oldest daughter going to kindergarten and talking about going to the bar on a cruise ship? Well apparently it runs in the family. My 5 year old became obsessed with going to the bar and ordering drinks, (mainly because she was getting soda she's not allowed to have at home) but the bartenders loved her and hooked het up with sprite with cherries in them until Mom cut off all the fun. lol My oldest and I wound up sitting in the park cafe wanna be, bar in the solarium late night having one on one time talking about school, her wishes for a bigger allowance, and her desire to be more organized. That one night in the solarium over nachos, pizza, and a chef salad is one of my favorite moments of the week. I always seem to have a moment like this on our cruises, just quiet, one on one time doing something we would never do at home... midnight meals. But sharing laughs, talking about life and making pledges to help each other grow when we got back home. Time to head into the Gulf of Mexico and make our way toward home. Up Next --- Another storm, an action packed holiday, and Dad's mistake. leads to a win.
  13. Hi ! Our taxi dropped us off at Calle cherna, you can see the beach from the road. Walk pass all the people at the corner toward the beach and when you get to the boardwalk turn left. Tropicante is the second building after you make the turn. Go in building first. To make sure you’re in the right place All tropicante staff had pink shirts on that said tropicante Ignore the people in green shirts That’s the place next door.
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