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Gef Kendall

Age: 62


Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Vision of the Seas

Sailing Date: December 17th, 2006

Itinerary: Mexican Riviera

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Vision of the Seas Cruise Review
Mexican Riviera

Geoff Kendall

We are 2 Brits who took this cruise who have regularly holidayed in US in California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida.
As Brits we are used to poor food and poor service at home but this cruse took the biscuit as we say. We traveled independently to LA and had 2 nights at Hyatt regency Long Beach. No problems with hotel but on our pick up by Royal Caribbean things began to go wrong.

1: A 56-seat coach for a total of 5 people came to pick us up. (good planning by RC) The driver proceeded to try to drive the coach out of the hotel by a car lane and got stuck!!! Got clear eventually with help from hotel personnel.
Arrived at port and no apparent problems on checking in.

We had stipulated a large table for dinner i.e. 8-10 as we were traveling on our own so imagine our surprise when checking table to find it a 4. Up to pursers to change.

Cabin 8580 was spacious but looking tired i.e. curtains had holes in and inner curtains were definitely the worse for wear. Apart from that, cabin and steward were fine and bed was very comfortable

Went up to Windjammer café for lunch while awaiting delivery of luggage (On board 1.00 pm Luggage did not arrive until after lifeboat drill i.e. approx 6.00pm. 5 hours to move 100 feet vertical.)

On to dinner second sitting with new acquaintances as discussed earlier. Will not discuss them individually but all nice Americans from Oakland, Vegas, Sacramento and the inevitable doctor (From New Jersey).

This is when alarm bells began to ring for food quality. I had ordered alternative main course choice of chicken breast stuffed with ham and cheese, which when it arrived was still un-melted which is not my choice of serving this as my understanding is that cheese should be melted inside. My wife ordered Atlantic Cod which she found inedible but we thought this might just be our taste. We were surprised to see the only vegetable served was a spoon of mashed potato no greens or reds. No comment passed at time.

Good nights sleep and went to Windjammer café self service for breakfast. This is next to main pool area on deck 9. Usual format but surprised to see no omelet station so no over easy eggs either. I found it unbelievable to find no hash browns but corned beef hash was there. I was disappointed to find juice was served in horrid tiny plastic tumblers unless you hunted out the bigger plastic versions. Only orange or tropical fruit juice available. I could understand plastic cups on this deck for safety around pool but why then allow service of beer in glass bottles? If one of these were broken around the pool or Jacuzzi they would have to be drained for clearance and safety. Plastic cups look like a measly cost saving.

The following day we went to the fine dining for breakfast but was even more disappointed. The menu states choice of grapefruit or prune juice in addition to Windjammer choices but was greeted by waiter saying that these were both “off”. I ordered omelet which came with hash browns which were certainly not brown and which tasted like raw seaweed. When I asked executive waiting staff on our way out why grapefruit juice was off I received the following reply “grapefruit juice has not been available for 12 months but because the menus are printed a long way in advance it still appears on the menu although we do not serve it “
This begs the questions of
1: Is this really true?
2: Was I just spun a complete lie?

We went to the solarium to pass a little time but found it full of parents with children despite a notice stating no under 21’s except at certain specified times or during inclement weather. Was unable to enjoy the point of solarium i.e. quietness so went to pursers to comment where I was initially advised that it was probably like this because of “inclement weather” but as captain's weather announcement whilst I was at pursers office had just stated sunny weather and a 5 knot wind they then agreed that they would try to enforce rules the next day.

Next day same situation with at least 10 teenagers as well as further assorted children and NO attempt by any staff to address situation. If you have a rule in plain view on entrance doors then enforce it.

Further dining experiences were no better with complete lack of vegetables, and mashed potato served with every main meal. Must comment on the chilled fruit soups strawberry peach and apple as these were much appreciated by my wife.

On the third day my wife contacted the most awful chest infection and sore throat. This appeared to be epidemic as apparently 6 Steiner staff had been ill the previous week. When my wife went to doctor’s surgery she was unable to get in because of the queue. Other staff confirmed “a lot of the crew had it”. Further meals did not improve but the highlight /low light was a “Baked Alaska” which was ½ inch slice of ice cream horizontal on the plate with 1/10 inch of wet egg white around the sides.

Final summary
I have had better fine dining let alone buffets, in Laughlin at $20 per night, so do not go on this cruise if you think you will be getting quality food. I was so disappointed.

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