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Vision: Our family sees a different side of Royal

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Days 1, 2, --- At Sea

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We darted around the ship to explore as soon as we stepped on board.

We hit the pool deck, then deck 5 & 6

My wife then said, Ok --- what's next?

I said well that's about it.

She replied with, Oh Wow.

Yes this is not Oasis or Freedom class --- the ships she knows.

You could tell there was a little bit of reality setting in.

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Sailaway was great --- glasses in hand we watched Vision slide her way out of port past all the big oil tankers headed to and from Houston.

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Right off the bat we noticed the motion, there was a rocking left and right much more than what we're typically used to... but nothing to dampen the mood.

We headed off to our room to find a bottle of wine waiting for us courtesy of Royal Caribbean, and a certificate for some arcade credits.



We went up to Adventure Ocean to check it out and sign the kids in and OMG!

The line to get into Adventure Ocean stretched out of the room into the hall and across the hall into the arcade.

Parents were filling out the forms to be able to drop off their kids.

I was wondering where are all these kids going to go?

AO doesn't physically have the space for them.

I took the kids to the arcade, while my wife stood in the line for more than an hour.

She comes back looks concerned.

Apparently their are more kids on this cruise than have ever been on the Vision since she's ever been built. The staff kept saying we've never even come close to having this amount of kids on board.

There wasn't the staff, or space, to handle the crowd. Staff told her, it would be on a first come, first serve basis.

They would take the max they're allowed to have in the room and with staff kid ratios, but that would be it.

I think RCI didn't realize it was Spring Break week in Texas when they offered Kids Sail Free on this particular ship.

I'll skip ahead a bit and tell you our kids were not happy, They came back and said that there were too many kids in AO and they didn't want to go back.

This hurt us a bit because our kids usually adore AO, and we have to beg them to hang with us.

Not this trip. They told us kids were hitting other kids, and it was hectic. I spoke to the AO manager and really felt for her. She knew the reviews would be bad, she had parents threatening to get off the ship and cancel their cruise and fly home because there weren't enough babysitters in the nursery etc.

AO manager was doing sitting herself and working with the students instead of planning the next days events.

I give the staff credit for trying to make do out of an impossible situation. I will say I didn't like that they only offered Adventure dining some nights. Other ships offer it nightly.... where you can drop off your kids at AO and they take them to dinner for you and then keep them in AO.


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We had an anniversary dinner in Chops and had to change the time because there was no Adventure dining that night.

Speaking of Chops....


Wow

What a meal.

Last year on Allure I was taken aback by the cost of Chops now and what I got for the money. I take that back on Vision. Excellent meal, excellent food, and amazing service. We had a wonderful time here. They went out of their way to make sure we were happy. My wife and I both had the filet, as well as the shrimp.

We worked through several sides and somehow got dessert down too.

Highly recommend it.

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Formal Dining Room was good too. . Our table was much too small for our party of 4. We barely had any elbow room and is was a constant chess game of making room for everything.

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Our server seemed to have a system. She took all her tables orders in the beginning and then brought out all the first courses at once, then picked them all up. At this point she'd return to the kitchen and come back with everyone's main course.

The struggle was that you found yourself waiting for the people at the next table to finish before you could get your next course.

I wanted to be annoyed by this but she was so doting, so caring to our family and genuinely therefor your happiness you just couldn’t be.

She earned high marks in my book.

Day 1 the head waiter came by to take care of the kids, check on us and make sure all was well. This doesn't typically happen for us, but these guys were on it service wise.


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Entertainment was so awesome on this cruise. We got to so many shows, and it was worth it.

There were 3 different comedy acts onboard the ship which is not typical for sure, but boy was it welcome. They were funny, family friendly, and a nice change of pace for us.

On Oasis its always a fight to fit everything in, with schedules and show tickets. This was not like that. Show up early, late, no issue getting a seat and the shows were not boring time fillers we truly found ourselves and our kids laughing.

The shows were fantastic but I can't brag enough about the Cruise Director's staff.
I mean WOW.



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Our cruise director's name is Cecilia but goes by CC. Yes, that's CC not CeCe.

She had a heart of gold and was very plugged in at lots of the activities and always around the ship interacting with guests and making sure everyone was having fun.

As good as she was, her staff was even better.

This one guy Orlando... he needs to be a cruise director, like now! He's beyond ready. He owned the activities he participated in with an infectious personality.
I was instantly impressed... reminded me of the great Richard Spacey.

The guy who did Bingo (can't recall name off hand) had a great sense of humor and I got the impression was totally a right hand man to CC. He was always guiding her along with jokes and sayings the times she seemed to struggle with something.

And then there were Palo and Megan. These two just were hard not to like. They're both a little atypical cruise staff. Palo was older, came from Costa cruises. short, toupee, didn't strike you as the kind of guy to let loose, but let me tell you he never hesitated. He was soooo funny.

Megan appears shy and quiet when you first meet her, but turn on some music and she comes out of her shell and boy can she boogie.

I can genuinely say the staff on this ship were the best overall group. They work together so well, and you just see the genuine fun and spirit they have.

On one hand I want RCI to make them all cruise directors in their own right, on the other I don't want them to break them up because they compliment each other so well.

CC and her crew are a solid 10 in my book. I will still give Spacey best cruise director ever.... but he was a one man show -- this was a team effort that truly worked.

Up Next..... Sailing through a storm & The one family pool on sea days.

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Love your writing style. You are on my 2nd favorite ship

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I always enjoy your reviews. :classic_biggrin: We were on Vision in February, had some glitches, but it was a fun cruise. The crew members are fabulous, and I agree with you about Orlando. He is great and entertaining at any activity that he is in charge of, and will make a great Cruise Director. Your waiter in the MDR was our waiter in Chops, nice lady in spite of the gruff exterior, she is very efficient. :classic_biggrin:

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On 3/24/2019 at 2:14 PM, ShillyShally said:

Also wanted to say your family is beautiful! Love the first steps on the Splendor and would love to know what reaction the teacher gave to your oldest's bar drawing 🙂

 

I'll have to find the note she sent home.   It went something like,  "I asked your daughter if she meant a bar, like a balance beam, and she corrected me quickly and said, no, a bar where you get daiquiris, on a cruise!"

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On 3/24/2019 at 7:08 PM, MsJersey84 said:

I was super excited to see that you are writing this review. I was thinking to myself this is the only other person on my roll call for the Enchantment of the Seas in Oct and sure enough it was you.. I was like Oh Yeah i am definitely reading this!!! So far its been great!

 

Happy Sailing!!!

 

What wonderful news!  Look forward to sailing with you.  Even better --- my inlaws live in Dallas, GA.  We're trying to get them to join us in October as well. 

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On 3/24/2019 at 8:01 PM, BecciBoo said:

And then you found out it has 2 pools not just one....yay.  We love Vision too and have sailed all classes. Vision is small and intimate.  And you can do cheap Grand Suites.  We are booked for a B2B April 10 and 15.

 I think I said one main pool.  One usable for families 🙂     We can't hit up the solarium as we have little ones.

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Hey RCCL Fan! Enjoying your review so far. What is with you guys and precruise issues! Glad to read that everything got ironed out. The kids are getting so big and cute as ever. Say hi to wifey.  

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I am really enjoying your review. You are an excellent writer! You also have a lovely family. I didn't take any of our kids on a cruise until they were teenagers. I wish I could have taken them when they were younger like you are doing. My kids traveled quite a bit but just not on ships.

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9 hours ago, RCCL Fan said:

 

I'll have to find the note she sent home.   It went something like,  "I asked your daughter if she meant a bar, like a balance beam, and she corrected me quickly and said, no, a bar where you get daiquiris, on a cruise!"

HAHAHA, from the mouths of babes 🙂 

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Enjoying your review! Interesting to hear a perspective of a smaller ship after you have traveled on the larger class. Couldn't help notice your shirt. Do you work for KXAS? As a TV news person myself working for KMBC-TV, nice to see other media types on CC. Have a great trip and I will be following along.

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Posted (edited)

My wife and I are on Vision now and, at the top tier event, the Captain told us about the storm and rough seas your trip encountered.  I think she doesn’t have the modern stabilizers newer vessels have.  We were on her last year with some friends who were first timers and were freaked out by every pitch and roll.  It wasn’t even bad enough to close the outside decks but man were they freaked out.  

 

So far I 100% agree with your perception of the staff.  And last year when Captain Merik was aboard he was the best.  I suspect some of the good vibes are a result of his tenure and leadership.  

Edited by lifes-a-beach

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Enjoying the review... Thanks Neighbor.

 

Frank from Keller

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On 3/24/2019 at 12:13 PM, RCCL Fan said:

 

 

Really enjoying your review. We have children similar ages, so we can relate to many of your concerns and events. Anxious to 'hear' the rest. 

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As I age I learn there are a lot of things I can’t do like I used to...

I grew up in New Orleans.... there was a time when there was no such thing as food that was too spicy.

There was a time I could swim laps and not remotely be out of breath

and my volleyball game was so solid my friends and I beat were the first ever to beat crew on mariner in the passenger vs. crew pool volleyball.


We also cracked a hole in the bottom of the pool that game and flooded a ton of suites.... but that’s another story.

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So when I was seriously losing my balance and feeling wobbly a lot as I walked on Vision. I thought it was another sign of old age.

Then I saw the “sickness” bags hanging on the staircases... and one of the guys from the pinnacle club struggling to make it to the elevator and I was like ok. It’s not just me.

This ship rocks.

Not the worst I’ve ever been on.... Carnival and Celeb both hold that distinction. But this and maybe Nordic empress tied for the worst RCI ships.

Now it’s hard to say if it’s the ship or the weather

As one who routinely sails larger ships I’m confident in saying she rocks more than the voyager class even the radiance class ship I was on...even when we were in smooth water near port and not in open ocean

But the weather certainly didn’t help.

The same night that NCL ship listed as it was hit by winds from a cold front we were hit by winds from that same front.

I grew up in New Orleans and lived in coastal Virginia for 7 years.... I don’t throw this term around lightly but it sounded like a tropical storm outside that night.

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Water was crashing against the ship. The wind was rough.

I didn’t sleep one bit.

Comic talked about it the next night. Everyone was talking about the weather the swaying and the motion.

One night in the dining room the servers were even looking concerned as we all looked out the window and watched sea out the left side of the ship and sky out of the right... then the reverse

We were rocking

Somehow I never once felt like I was going to be sick. But I was super aware of the rocking and still more than a week later feel the rocking

This was my negative for my first vision class sailing.

The ship just felt like it needed better stabilizers.


All that being said..... that’s about my only complaint. (Adventure ocean other)


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This size ship really was amazing. Our cabin was right off the Centrum on deck 8

It was an amazing location.

Up one deck to the pool.

Down two decks to everything else practically.

I was worried about sea days by the pool with so many families on board.

Not once did we have an issue finding chairs. And the pool never seemed to crowded for the kids

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Hot tubs were busy and packed

But the main pool was great

Never ventured into solarium because we have kids.

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Our youngest got her diamond member welcome.... you know the one that caused our cruise to get cancelled lol

But she was all smiles

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And the oldest cleaned up at the meet & mingle door prize game.

Up Next.... Roatan: Monkeys, Beaches & Victor Bodden

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How's the WJ ? After many years of cruising, dinner there has now became our preference.  

We'll be on Vision mid May out of Barcelona...great (sold out) itinerary (Med/Greece) and looking forward (backward) to our true aft cabin on deck #8.

Thanks so much...really enjoying your posts.

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My wife and I are on Vision now and, at the top tier event, the Captain told us about the storm and rough seas your trip encountered.  I think she doesn’t have the modern stabilizers newer vessels have.  We were on her last year with some friends who were first timers and were freaked out by every pitch and roll.  It wasn’t even bad enough to close the outside decks but man were they freaked out.  
 
So far I 100% agree with your perception of the staff.  And last year when Captain Merik was aboard he was the best.  I suspect some of the good vibes are a result of his tenure and leadership.  

Yep. Like your friends I’ve never sailed with outdoor decks closed.

I’ve also never sailed with so much pitch and roll on the bigger ships.

As much as I disliked that, those crew members made this cruise so memorable

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Enjoying your review! Interesting to hear a perspective of a smaller ship after you have traveled on the larger class. Couldn't help notice your shirt. Do you work for KXAS? As a TV news person myself working for KMBC-TV, nice to see other media types on CC. Have a great trip and I will be following along.

It’s a small business for sure. I worked from Hearst earlier in my career.

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HAHAHA, from the mouths of babes  

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Found it for you...

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12 minutes ago, RCCL Fan said:


Found it for you...
 

LOL, that's a keeper!!  Thank you for sharing!!

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I love this trip report.. My wife and I were on Empress a year ago and had the best time ever.. Leaving Miami at Dinner we encountered some waves.. I exclaimed "I love this S...." she said you're not right Im sick.. Gave her some Green apples and handed them out to our tablemates and all was good.. 🙂

 

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RCCL Fan, you weren't in 8544 by any chance, were you? Your mention of new carpeting and refreshed bathroom, made me think that you might be. 

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Loving the review.  We were on the Rhapsody Brazil to Barcelona TA back in 2016, and it was the smoothest cruise we've ever had!  We DID get beat up last year on Jewel the first few days from San Juan to Rome, but the rest was great!

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RCCL Fan, you weren't in 8544 by any chance, were you? Your mention of new carpeting and refreshed bathroom, made me think that you might be. 

Nope. Other side of the ship. 8048

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Oh good to know. We had a couple of glitches that involved sewage and bathroom flooding, and they had wanted to replace the carpet on our side. They probably did some replacements on the trip to Galveston. :classic_biggrin:

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