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Everything posted by creel5857

  1. Loved our signature suite on Panama Canal trip because of the extra space.
  2. We have been on 8 cruises with 5 princess and 3 HAL. Our decision is based on the following: itinerary and price........the lines are very similar. There are a few differences as mentioned: you can usually get a room with mini sofa or better seating in HAL for less money than princess, we have enjoyed entertainment on princess better, HAL usually has minister for church services on board or at least more often than princess. We have also done royal and Caribbean and do not prefer those brands at our age/stage in life due to the noise and non stop business ........we are in 60 and 70’s and go for relaxation and dining and sight seeing but not needing the pool parties and karaoke bars and water park features and non stop games. With both cruise lines it can depend on the ship as to whether the service and furnishings are as pleasant as we hope........but i would go with either if i can get good price on room with small sofa and balcony.
  3. On our trip there was 2......first one was our 2nd night at sea and the 2nd one was key west night if I recall?? It wasn’t our last night so it must have been Thursday night leaving key west. But yes we had 2 nights that were formal nights
  4. To sunlover2...... not sure if JS 8546 will be effected or not, dont have layout of ship at close hand but yes earplugs are easy to pack so that will be ounce of prevention....primary problem for us was pool and buffet area above. Some have commented on noise in atrium during times of music and entertainment but we did not experience much of that storage space in junior suites was great in closets......bathroom space is sufficient but I would have taken a little cheap small plastic basket (1.00 at dollar tree) for small items that roll around as most of bathroom is narrow flat space yes hair dryer was located in a drawer near vanity area there were robes in closet there was only one outlet in our bedroom area which meant a lot of moving devises around if you have cpap or things that need to be charged.......if you by chance have cpaps let me know and i will give you some more update on our situation with that our balcony we good size with t table and 2 chairs TV channel selection was not great but then I realize a lot of people dont watch TV.......as senior citizens we do like to take some breaks and have some down time and at night sometimes after dinner we prefer to go to cabin rather than do shows and nightlight.......we were spoiled on other ships with a selection of channels and interactive TV that had movies etc. this ship does not let me know if you have any other questions
  5. Yes we got that message. Either way, the parking and driving around cruise port is crappy right now. We thought it was just us but we heard from several people who are used to the port complain throughout our cruise and now today we hear from friends who said several almost missed ship on Saturday due to problems at port with parking and closed lanes. Maybe they will get it straighted out soon and it will be great looking but we wont be going back there anytime soon
  6. Agree with recent poster that sometimes we just need information ahead so we adjust our expectations accordingly. This cruise was reasonably priced but have had other reasonably priced cruises as well on ships with less age, recent refurshments and more amenities. For us it was a way to get to see key west, sail out of a port that we could drive to and try out a new cruise line. The great thing about cruise critic is that you can read numerous comments and formulate your own opinion and base your plans accordingly. We are home, clothes washed, ready to enjoy my own comfy bed and glad for the memories. Since this was my first live posting while on a ship I appreciate your kindness with any of my missteps along the way.
  7. Regarding daily activities and shows in the centrium (center atrium part of ship open for all to see): A variety of activities occur in centrium and a number of them are played back on the in room TV channels which really gives a great view in the event you cant get close enough to seating or rail to see a good view of activities. Several of these show up llater that night or the next day. They had a dance contest that was quite humorous last night that we could not see very well. Select officers on ship were paired with some passengers to do a short dance off. Looking at it now on TV is even better than it was last night because you can hear and see so much better. So just FYI in case your dining times or other activities conflict with the times there is something going on in centrium.
  8. Yes we knew to use magnet system and spoke to them upon arrival but as noted we had a specific issues with a few cabins on deck 8.........at least 4 complaints from other cabins per customer service notice to us as to why they reassigned the staff ......
  9. As noted by earlier poster RC does have the high pace energy and games and activities and noise level that is preferred by many, particularly younger families with kids and teens. But for couples or seniors who dont prefer the noise and occasional dining room melt downs with kids and just prefer a calmer more subdued environment then RC is a bit more than they desire from that standpoint. Yes i agree with posters that food on princess and holland america has been somewhat better overall but that is subjective. I think it is great how this travel site can allow people to read other people’s experiences and observations and make good decisions how to plan their own travel. And sometimes the tips and suggestions actually help people enjoy their experience better from the beginning because they know what to expect and what NOT to expect. Today we stopped in key west with a beautiful day of weather, a great hop on-and-off tour, a little shopping and some great key lime pie. So now a final day at sea and back to New Orleans. I have to say today has made us a bit happier with overall cruise. Just have to be honest that Nasaua is just dirty and infrastructure is just not enticive to us to visit again with all the other beautiful ports of call that are available.......but a lot of people like it. Again, just to have people give some comments ahead about ports of call is helpful for people to have reasonable expectations of where they are going.
  10. Yes we have found French fries to be very good and family has said soft serve ice cream very good. Hotdogs and hamburgers pretty good but not quite as good as some cruise lines who have special areas around pool with real grills making them fresh.....i have not found the pizza as good on vision as with other ships but there is a variety of staff items that should please most people who love salads. I was asked about price of alcoholic beverages and it appears that most are saying prices are equal to or greater than other cruise lines. I can say that the few drinks that our crowd has purchased it has been slightly more expensive than the 15 day cruise we took on holland america last December. But all of them still agreed it was still cheaper for them to buy individual drinks than committing to any of the beverage packages...... we went to chops last night (compliments of our travel agent) and found the meal very good. Steaks were wonderful, shrimp large and of course the quiet elegant environment is an added benefit away from the busy, sometimes noisy dining room. Our family would not cash up and pay for these meals but nice when you get them thrown in as a thank-you by travel agent regarding questions about shops: yes there are periods during day that shops are not opened. Last night we went by to take a stroll through prior to dinner and they were closed until 6:30 and the staff member nearby mentioned that it was opened and closed at various times. I guess i missed that notice but it was no big deal...... regarding medical services: yes medical services are noted in the daily schedule and mentions specific times that medical unit is open and closed......yesterday it was a few hours in morning and then a couple of hours late in the afternoon regarding cabin services: yes our services have improved since they did whatever staff changes that took place on our 2nd full day for several of our cabins on the 8th deck. I think it important to note that it is always good to ask cabin stewards on the first day any questions you might have. (how to operate TV, how to secure certain items or accommodations that you had requested that are not in room, how often you prefer ice). Some cruise lines have their staff take the time to specifically address this when they come to room to introduce themselves and others do not. For example on several of our Princess and Holland American cruises we have often had cabin stewards to greet us at which time they ensure they know how to pronounce our name, ensure the items that travel agents have purchased are inour room, ensuring we have items we requested related to medical accommodations, ensuring we have ice and to ensure we know how to operate the TV and telephone. But a lot of cruise lines dont do that. So just be sure you ask any questions that you have........if there is no answer or you still have questions then call customer services
  11. As noted in earlier post the layout in windjammer is due to age of ship.......but a tip i would give for anyone who has not sailed vision in past would be to walk through to see what all is available before you assume that the food bar at front entrance is the main food.......the first food area you come to has some salad type products and some premade entree items but as you continue on around there is an area of fresh foods like freshly made omelets and freshly cooked eggs, and freshly sliced roast beef and freshly cooked pasta .......and the sweets and fruits are out further in the middle of the seating area........it took us a meal or so to figure it all out. So just walk around some as sometimes the fresher on the spot cooked food is not at the front entrance..... as with some buffets it gets very crowded sometimes so we always get someone to claim a table and swap out getting our food
  12. Diamond suite cruiser: yes those precautions to decrease noise are great and I have a noise machine as well. It may or may not be the “carpeted” area above us but it is noisy throughout day and until around 12:00 pm at night. I assume it is our location and on prior cruises we have always gotten a room sandwiched between cabin floors to avoid this but could not do so on this trip. Not meaning to be critical but I have found tips on cruise critic very helpful for future sailors and I was just sharing real factual information of what had occurred to us and we are on ship right now. bee guy: yes we agree RCI has great cruises and I think another location on vision would be great.....didnt mean to upset loyal customer and again I was answering questions that I was asked . I am sure you will have another great cruise and we are going to have a good cruise ourselves rrtexascruiser: i think our minimal movement we have had has been due to location of ship and it being a smaller ship........no big deal.......no nausea or anything........gentle bit of movement at night but no big deal pcjr2: congratulations on the trip to Panama Canal as we did it last December from San Diego to ft Lauderdale. Just my opinion only but I would not want my full 16 days on this particular ship......again, not meaning to upset the loyal RCI customers I am just saying after us being on our ship for 15 days I would prefer a ship as you have chosen for that long of a trip and finally to all........kinda sorry I starting commenting or answering questions as I feel the observations were not wanted by long term RCI cruisers and I did not mean anything to harm anyone and I apologize for doing so........but I have appreciated many many comments made on cruise critic that has helped us plan several cruises based on our needs and personality.....that is all I meant to do.........
  13. Oh for sure continue with plans to do the voyage because there are always pros and cons with all ships and lines. I was asked specifici questions and was trying to answer best i could. Just knowing some details ahead can help you anticipate how you want to get the most out of your trip. today is a beautiful day in miami.....wasn’t on our itinerary when we purchased but with dock and island at coco bay still being worked on it got substituted. There is really nothing at all around port dock area and since we have seen miami on prior trip we are staying aboard and enjoying the top deck and our balcony for views and people watching. Yes there were people outside last night watching the national championship football game but we chose to do it inside as it was a bit windy .......temps were ok but winds were quite tropical (LOL) so we relaxed in room to LovinCruisin .......you will enjoy your trip.......i didnt mean for my personal answers to prior questions to dissuade anyone from your trip......it is different than many we have been on but we try to have a good time on an trip we go on ........if you have sailed out of New Orleans before I am sure all will go well for you .........and maybe by the time you come you will not have the problem we had with road construction at port.......others on ship with us who have been in/out of port of New Orleans on 2 different cruise lines even complained it was a mess.......so hopefully this is just temporary with the construction work
  14. Just a simple warning for those who are going out of New Orleans for the first time and are not familiar with the port nor the parking areas. We had directions from travel agent and even had GPS and even asked the concierge at the hotel about directions..........all just to verify things since I am a little obsessive compulsive. But we still had problems as there was a lot of road construction going on and some lanes were closed and 1 street closed temporarily and no major signs like in other ports and very few port officials anywhere. As a result we didnt even get parked in the cruise port deck and ended up in Fulton garage by accident.......I know you are shaking your head but it was stressful to get parked. Yes it is a bit cheaper than the port authority parking but by the time you pay tips to shuttles you dont come out that much ahead.......but we got parked so just be forewarned .......its a mess if you dont know for sure what to do........
  15. We have only been on princess, holland american and royal Caribbean. Our friends and family with us have also been on carnival and Norwegian as well as holland and princess. Right now our consensus is that holland and princess rate the highest overall for cruise experience and services with royal and Norwegian coming in next and then carnival last. But all this is subjective and just our 11 opinions (LOL). We come to that decision based on ship accommodations, level of services by all employees (food, cabin, tours, front desk), and the entertainment/recreation/activities provided which we think creates an environment or flavor of the ship/cruise line. For us Holland and Princess is more subdued, calm, quiet while still active, employees present very very polished and professional and there are typically less young children which result in a more quiet organized environment. Royal is billed out more for younger active couples and families with young kids which we have experienced even on this smaller older royal ship sailing during school season. And then there is carnival.......what can we say........party hardy and bring on the booze. (Not for us but for others) with a loud party environment on most itineraries. So vision will be a bit of a let down from your holland american cruise. But you can still have a good time. Just hope you dont get a cabin under the pool deck as we are located. We took the last rooms they had and we knew we probably should not have done it and we regret it. Loud and noisy with chairs scraping and people running and music banging a lot. But it’s only 4 more days. (LOL). I would not turn down a cruise on vision if you already have one planned, just know ahead it is not Holland and Princess environment or level of services
  16. Responding to comments about you have to pay a lot to get better service.......well this is true to a certain extent however we have gotten some great prices on holland america and princess and celebrity and thus far I am leaning toward them over royal Caribbean and carnival as far as overall experience. But royal had a great price, it included key west which we wanted to visit, it went out of a port which we could drive to........so we made our choice based on that. Regarding the earlier comment from someone about age of cruise attendees on this trip: we have more young people and kids than I expected for a Jan cruise. It is not that I dont like kids cause we have kids and grandkids and nieces and nephews we love to be with........just sometimes we like to travel and go on cruises with quieter crowd that has less screaming, crying and noise.........we have kids all around us in fine dining and near our cabins and balconies and so far it seems most are fairly happy, just fairly noisy LOL........but with royal Caribbean and carnival we know to expect greater noise with kids and partying adults........which is why we usually go with one of the other cruise lines.....
  17. To pcjr2 and other questions food is just plain old buffet food at windjammer like you would get at gold corral or a host of other places......except they seem to put their twist on some veggies and I am not sure who is cutting the chicken but it has some pieces that I have never seen before. (LOL). Not particularly great but very serviceable for a quick bite to eat with some variety. While some have complained about coffee and tea I can say we have had worse and the flavors are pretty good to me since they mass produce the beverages. A real difference for us with the buffet area is the desserts......do not compare to many other cruise lines other than the cookies which appear great. This time we chose the My Time dining rather than the fixed dining and we feel a bit rushed as they are trying to get people out and more people in which I understand. I will say that the prime rib and sirloin steak that I got were both cooked and tasted great. My husband loves escargot and only gets it on cruises and he has been very pleased with it. The shrimp cocktail were not very large but you could order 2 if you desired so no big deal. Butter is very limited so our tables have had to ask for more as everyone did not get a butter each for bread but that is minor, we just asked for more!! Some were amused at how they prepared catsup for those who ordered it with their meats and potato as the servers would actually open up small foil packages and squirt it in a small dish where on other cruise lines it would come in a small dish out of galley or they had a real container to pour it out of .....no big deal to us but some found that slightly different that other cruise lines they had been on . Portions seem smaller than on some other cruise lines we have been on in last 3 or 4 years but again you can adjust to that by asking for more.......and with all we are eating we dont need huge portions anyway. I will add this........the park cafe in the solarium is a nice spot for a sandwich, cup of soup or small salad or quesadilla ........it is quiet and has a nice little variety for a snack or light meal during hours the buffet and dining room is closed. No real pizza place on this ship but they have some pizza included sometimes on the buffet. Lunch to me in the dining room was not as nice as I expected but still ok. They were a bit disorganized but then one of the staff explained they had had some “staff changes”?? But we still got our food and it was sufficient. By the way, they will not let you sit by yourself as a party of ONE.....just letting you know ahead. Hope that answers your questions a little bit. Afraid i am giving you too much information.
  18. MSNBC and Fox News.....also something on BBC
  19. Following up to pcjr2 with questions about getting money’s worth from this voyage and other questions: For us the price is probably not going to be worth what we paid since we are in jr suite but it is vacation so we are going to enjoy as much as we can. Since we had coco bay substituted with Miami plus the various things we noted about the ship .......it has lost it’s dollar value to us but that is just us. After looking at excursion options for miami we may not even get off ship so that is another lost port of call for us. On ship there is a variety of things like trivia and games occurring down in the atrium, there is a music around the pool and in the lounge, there is bingo, spa, small rock wall, small casino and entertainment in theater at night (magician, comedian, ventriloquist). The bingo and alcohol comes at a bit more price than some other lines we have been on but that is not something that you have to purchase. As mentioned earlier, TV is very very limited so to add some filler time with TV in cabin is not really an option.....has 2 news stations, 2 sports stations, 2 kid stations and 3 cruise line stations and 2 foreign stations. There is a refrig in our cabin but we are in junior suite and others have said they do not have refrig?? So not sure which cabins do or do not
  20. Update from vision today...........We received ice this morning and a supervisor came through catching us as we exited cabin explaining that RC had experienced some staff issues (we did not complain but he said others had). Said the cabins in our area should expect better services. On a side note, a couple with us at lunch who has traveled 5 cruise lines and been on 4 royal Caribbean cruises have acknowledged that Vision is certainly a bit below other RC with service level and food services??? As we mentioned it is a bit below our holland and princess cruises but we are still enjoying it...........So take that for whatever it is worth... various people have mentioned enjoying bingo and casino........some at lunch reported winning at bingo and my husband won a little in casino....... had an emergency drill this morning but some thought it a real emergency for brief period as captain announcement was not well understood......cant understand some of his words and sentences.........shortly after this another staff member made an announcement that was much more clear and relieved any worries........ enjoyed some dolphins along side ship earlier.......weather still great today is the big day for the national championship game with Alabama and Clemson so they have announced it will be shown on the large screen outside by pool and on one channel on TV in cabins, also have a ventriloquist tonight for entertainment along with all the game shows, music and other activities.
  21. Weather was great yesterday with departure and today it has been great at sea. Regarding earlier comments on updates: we have sailed other cruise lines who would take their short 2 week drydock times to upgrade some of their mattresses or linens and do some cosmetic work. We have been told they updated a little of their carpet in some public spaces and did some painting and maintenance outside ship but we have observed several areas that have some rust spots and some carpet even in public area that looks old. As mentioned, we are in jr suite and our mattress needs replacing and the sink is rusty along with some rusty spots on balcony rail..........room is plenty spacious and we have a sofa and 2 side chairs and balcony plenty large for small table and 2 chairs. For us the limited TV channels and mattress and noise we hear is the most disappointing so that is why i called myself just being upfront for those that are asking ahead about detail......i very much appreciated the others who shared info ahead that helped prepare me for the trip We have run into several travelers who have been on multiple cruise lines who are a bit disappointed in ship and services and food quality but that is often subjective and based on a persons taste. I can say that service level in cabins has been less than we have had on other ships as we have had to ask for ice (still have not received on day 2) and they dont come to cabin and tidy and check things out twice a day automatically like some cruise lines do......but it is ok as we dont need to be catered to that much, just an observation. On other cruise lines we have had cabin stewards speak to us in hall, rush in while we are at meals to tidy up, set the bed up for night, put our the next days agenda on the bed along with either towel animals or chocolates.......but none of that in our cabin thus far........again, not necessary but just observing services is different i enjoyed a while in the solarium today and it started off nice and quiet as it was described but got a bit noisy in there as a few couples were having loud conversations.......but it is still pleasant option to the very loud main pool environment. The snack area to the back of the solarium (park cafe) is very nice as quick option for a small salad or sandwich and drink without having to go to the noise and congestion of windjammer. Regarding question about windjammer: it is just plain standard buffet food.......nothing outrageously great......some salad items, some sandwich items, a couple of entrees and veggies.......a sweet,dessert area with good cookies and small pieces of cake or pie......sweets are ok but nothing spectacular. Family says soft serve ice cream has been pretty good. Some tried the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for a fee that they said was good.
  22. Update to the questions and posts I can remember: yes indeed we are on vision of seas and it was not sold off ......... have not been to speciality resturant yet regarding storage in bath.....yes we have sufficient storage but I still say it was have been better for us if we have slipped in one or two of the small cheap storage baskets that are about 4 by 6 inches or similar.......you can buy them for a dollar and a couple of them could have held my small make up items or small medical items...........some of the storage is flat and narrow in dept and some is beneath the sink and ship movement causes item to roll a bit .....no big deal, just thought some of prior posters were correct that it might have been nice and convenient to have since they are so cheap regaring electric cords for CPAP........my only comments were to confirm that we also have brought our own for years and due to info received from royal Caribbean we decided to let them provide them for this trip.....however, as noted we did see 3 others getting questions and 2 being confiscated during our check in......not saying others have not gotten the items on that you have described and we have in the past, just saying that this time we observed security not allowing such on board as the particular time that we were checking in......for us it was not a big deal whether we brought our cord or they provided, the bigger deal is there is very very limited places to plug anything in for any of their items or our items, In our room we have a double plug on desk area that is being used for cpap machines, electronic devises and coffee pot .....hasn’t ruined trip, just letting others know what we have encountered.... yes it has been noisy .......despite most schools being back in session there are a fair number of kids aboard but a lot of the noise is the music and entertainment activities that you find on ships like royal Caribbean and carnival.......not quieter like holland and princess or celebrity....just a different environment...... regarding TV channels I have seen 3 or 4 channels of RC selling items and shore excursions and their activities, a couple of news channels, couple of sport channels, one or two channels that look like kid shows and 1 channel that says movies but we have not found anything on it yet......so it is sufficient but just not as many channels as we have had on some other ships.......not the interactive TV system that we have seen on some other ships but it might be because this particular RC ship is older
  23. Forgot to mention there is a limited number of TV channels compared to other cruises we have been on but we brought some reading for our 3 sea days. Even in junior suite the bathroom storage is limited but we made due......I would however say I forgot to bring something that was suggested by someone earlier......it was recommended to get some of the small cheap baskets like you get at walmart or dollar tree for 1.00 or so that might be about 4 by 6 inches.....to use for small items like make up or meds in bottles ......to hem things up a bit so they dont roll off narrow counter tops.......now that I am here seeing counters and space I better understand and wish I had......just a tip......
  24. I agree with prior posts.......older ships like vision (on it right now) is severely lacking on power sources and we are even in a junior suite. Our extension cord that ship provided is strung across the room floor without any tape securing it down so hoping we dont fall on it in middle of night .........trying to remember it is there!! Nothing can be plugged in near bed, in fact we even have a coffee pot on shelf and it has no power near it either. We saw security taking a few extension cord/power items from others during check in and none of them had power surge on them......looked like the power cords that others on this board has said was ok so just be aware cruise line can/might still confiscate it.
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