Occupation:Executive Secretary in a shipping company
Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Vision of the Seas
Sailing Date: September 9th, 2001
After a short time in our room, our Cabin Attendant, Ricky from the Philippines knocked on our door to introduce himself. He was a very nice person and kept our cabin all cruise long spick and span with a very nice surprise every evening on our beds (with towels, flowers and our clothes!)
We always had breakfast at the Windjammer Café because we wanted to have just fruit only. We wanted to avoid the lunch rush hour in the Windjammer because sometimes it was difficult to locate an empty table. The lunch in the Aquarius dining room was better: food and service (the waiter finds you a table himself). Our dining experience was absolutely marvellous. In fact we gained a few pounds – so try to do some exercise if you can! And what can we say about our Head Waiter, Waiter and Assistant Waiter? (Simon from the UK, Ali from Turkey and Purity from S. Africa respectively) They were all very nice people, always ready for suggestions and every evening Simon would entertain us with some sort of trick or a riddle. Sometimes he told us the solution the following evening. The night before the last he put some water in a plate, put some ground pepper on it and he put his middle finger at the centre of the plate and all the pepper went straight to the edges of the plate. On the last night he forgot to tell us the solution of this trick and now I am still trying to figure that out! Ali our waiter from Turkey was always helpful, always with a smile and quick as can be. We actually looked forward to our dinner so that we could meet these people because it was really nice talking with them (just a few minutes after dinner cause they are always busy, mind you!) The waiters also gave some entertainment on a special night such as the Italian, and everyone in the dining room was clapping them and cheering. So, always take your camera/video camera during dinner. You never know what surprise you might have! A must is on the farewell dinner.
Our ship stops were in Hubbard Glacier (cruising), Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. Hubbard Glacier was the highlight of the cruise. The glaciers were marvellous and we took a lot of pictures there. Ice calving was fantastic, however I did not manage to take a picture because you have to be pretty quick. You can buy absolutely great pictures from the Photo Shop on the ship. The morning in Skagway we spent it browsing around the souvenir shops. In the afternoon we took an excursion to Haines to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. First we boarded a catamaran and then in Haines we took a short bus ride to finally board a raft on the Chilkat river. It was awfully cold but boots, ponchos and gloves were provided. The guides were good and we saw plenty of bald eagles and nests. Lunch was provided before going on the raft (however we had already eaten on the ship!) This is not white water rafting and except for the cold and the rain we enjoyed it. In Juneau we took the wild life quest. These guys guarantee you get $ 50 back if you do not see a whale. We did not get any back because in fact we saw them! The excursion takes 4 hours and if you get sea sick easily, do not choose this one because the boat kept rocking all the time. However it was September and I do not know whether in July and August they have better weather. We did see the whales, sea lions and a bald eagle. However it all happens so fast that I did not get any of the whales on my photos. (Imagine with all the rain and you have to hold on to keep yourself steady) I managed to get a few of the sea lions though. In Ketchikan we did not take any excursions but just went around on our own. We had sunny weather there and so we enjoyed it. There are the usual souvenir shops, we went to Creek street and Dolly’s house, and saw lots of salmon in Creek river.
Our captain from Sweden was pretty much an entertainer himself. However we did not get much to see him. Just on the Captain’s welcome drink before the gala dinner and on our last evening, on which he entertained us in the Masquerade Theatre with a very funny letter written by a ten year old boy of why he wants to be a captain when he is grown up. We did not get the opportunity to actually meet the Captain personally because we had second seating for dinner (8.30 pm) and those having the main seating enjoyed his company for dinner. A real pity.
Our first cruise experience got us hooked because we are already planning our next one. The ship was great, the entertainment was good quality and the customer service provided was excellent. Our expectations were more than exceeded! We are recommending a Royal Caribbean cruise to all our friends.