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Monica Barnett

Age: 30

Occupation:Retail Manager

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Vision of the Seas

Sailing Date: January 30th, 2005

Itinerary: Mexican Riviera


Vision of the Seas was a nice ship. My first cruise was on a Voyager class ship which was much larger so it was tough not to constantly compare the two ships.

When we arrived in LA we took a shuttle from LAX to the Port of San Pedro. It was $54 for 4 people. The embarkation was smooth and quick. The representative was very friendly. When we got on the ship the rooms were not quite ready yet. That was okay because we were starving. We went straight to the 9th deck to the Windjammer.

Food
The windjammer was great the first day but after that the food was often not kept warm enough. We enjoy buffets normally because of the choices. Also, on the Navigator there were burgers, hotdogs and pizza on the buffet. On this ship, you had to go to the Solarium café to get any of these items. That was frustrating for a few reasons. There was only one ice cream machine on the whole ship and it was only open a few hours a day. It was not even open the night there was a midnight buffet on the pool deck.

Dinner the first night was okay. I was again comparing to the Navigator of the Seas and feeling as though the service just wasn’t there. As the week went on, the service got better and better from the waiter and dining room bar staff. Our assistant waiter seemed more interested in helping her other table and neglected us. She was not nearly as quick as our asst. waiter on the last cruise. Roberth was our waiter and he was wonderful. He was personable, outgoing and funny. He has been with the Vision ship since its maiden voyage. He came over on the ship to the US. Our head waiter came to our table nearly every night.

The food at dinner is wonderful and the company on our trip was great. We got really lucky because many other people were not enjoying their dinner companions. We pick the late seating because we could do excursions and still take a nap before dinner. We wish more of our shows were after dinner instead of before.

Accommodations
When we went to our room we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was not as small as we were expecting. The carpet was stained and the coffee table was in the way no matter where we moved it. The window was nice sized. The sheer curtain at the window and the shower curtain were also both stained.

Ship
The centrum runs through the middle of the ship from deck 4 up was beautiful. The musicians and singer that played on deck 4 nightly were wonderful. Our companions who joined us for the cruise really enjoyed the Champagne bar on deck 4 and were there every night. Vaughn and Sandy were the bartenders there. We only went to the Champagne bar 2 times and would agree that these to bartenders were very nice and made me want to go back.

The shops on deck 6 were so different from the Navigator. The Navigator has a 4 deck high promenade. It is really tight in the hallways where the shopping is.

The theater was beautiful and the views were all great. No problem getting a drink in there. Probably too many drink servers.

Entertainment
The Royal Caribbean performers were okay. The problem was with the cruise director. He sang too much and didn’t let the performers sing as much. His staff was all energetic and seemed very happy to be doing their jobs.

The outside entertainers were quite good. There were 2 comedians, a juggler, and Tony Tillman who was great. We really enjoyed him.

There is a lot of karaoke and bingo.

We quite enjoy the Caribbean Fusion band. They are really wonderful. They play by the pool daily.

The pool deck is too cold and windy to be on when returning to LA in February. No one was out there the last day of the cruise. The bartender said it is always like that this time of the year. No wonder we got a great deal.

Port of Call
Cabo San Lucas-We went out of our own shopping. We took the map and the instruction from Nuala (who saves you moola). We enjoyed just walking around hanging out. Cabo Wabo’s drinks were bad. We went to the mall in Cabo and it was beautiful. There were hardly any stores in the mall but I have not seen anything like it.

Mazatlan-We took the Pacifico brewery tour. This was really neat but a little slow. They drove us up to a scenic hill for photos. After this tour we took a cab into town and went shopping. We ate at Panchos. The food was good and it overlooked the water. Once we were back at the pier we bartered a little with the people at the flea market there and purchased a few pieces of sterling silver jewelry.

Puerto Vallarta-We took the jungle tour excursion. The tour guide was great. His name was Jose. The drive there was very interesting. The road was narrow and steep. The walk through the jungle was beautiful. It is not for just anyone. You have to climb a little and take your shoes off to cross the river. The restaurant served us chips and salsa for free but had other items for purchase. It was still a little early in the day for us to have lunch so we stuck with the chip and salsa. This was at the sight where The Predator with “Arnold” was filmed.

In the evening, we took the Pirate Ship excursion. This ship was neat. The evening started out great. However, this excursion lasted about 2 hours too long (a total of 5 hours). It got cold, rained and was windy. The “pirates” could barely control the tarps that covered and uncovered the tops. I just wanted to go home. During a better time of the year it may have been great. The food on the pirate ship was excellent and all the drinks were included in the price.

Conclusion
The one thing about this cruise that I didn’t like was that it seemed like they were always selling. Everything went back to selling something or telling you where to buy. The cruise director thought he was a good singer and should have left the singing to the other performers. The things I loved about this cruise and ship were the beautiful centrum, the shuffleboard, Some Enchanted Evening Lounge, the dining room, and the service.

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