Vision of the Seas - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Vision of the Seas


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 380 out of 500

Accommodation: 142 out of 200

Food: 240 out of 400

Service: 262 out of 400

Entertainment: 75 out of 100

Cruise: 271 out of 400

Overall Score: 1370 out of 2000

Vision of the Seas Statistics

Size: Mid-size Ship

Tonnage: 78,491

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9116876

Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (France)

Original Cost: $275 million

Entered Service: May 1998

Registry: Bahamas

Length (ft/m): 915.3/279.0

Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2

Draft (ft/m): 24.9/7.6

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (50,400kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 11

Total Crew: 735

Passengers (lower beds): 2,000

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 39.2

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.7

Cabins (total): 1,000

Size Range (sq ft/m): 135.0-1,270.1/12.5-118.0

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 229

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 14

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts

Elevators: 9

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2

Hot Tubs (on deck): 6

Self-Service Launderette: No

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


This smart ship has sleek lines and is very comfortable

Overview. Vision of the Seas, with its slim funnel placed at the very back of the ship, is a ship that the whole family can enjoy, especially now it offers a wider choice of restaurants and eateries.

The Ship. Vision of the Seas shares the design features that make all Royal Caribbean International (RCI) ships identifiable. The ship’s stern is beautifully rounded. There’s a decent amount of open-air walking space, although this can become cluttered with sunloungers that would benefit from having cushioned pads.

There are two swimming pools, the main pool, which also has a large movie screen, and an aft pool, which is within a Solarium indoor/outdoor area (with a retractable dome).

While not as large as some of the newer ships in the fleet, Vision of the Seas is perhaps more suited to couples and families with children that don’t need all those bells and whistles, but want to cruise with up-to-date facilities and have multiple dining choices for more convenience. RCI has added some of the dining options found on the larger ships, and enhanced the overall onboard experience by adding, for example, ship-wide Wi-Fi (it costs extra if you use it), flat-screen televisions in all cabins, and finger-touch digital ‘wayfinder’ direction screens.

A multi-level atrium lobby called the Centrum is the focal point within the ship, and the social meeting place. In a 2013 makeover, the whole area was revamped, and new features were added. On its various levels, it houses an R Bar (for some creative cocktails), several passenger service counters, art gallery, and Café Latte-tudes (for coffee). Close by are the flashy Casino Royale (for table gaming and slot machines), the popular Schooner Bar, with its nautical-theme decor and maritime art, and the Centrum shops. Aerial entertainment happens in the Centrum, too.

Other public rooms include the Library - with its decent array of books, and a neat wooden sculpture of something that looks like Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz.

Take time to look at some of the $6 million worth of artwork throughout the ship’s interior - it’s both colorful and creative.

Accommodation. There’s a range of suites and cabin types to choose from, and the price you pay depends on the size, grade and location. All, however, have a flat-screen television/infotainment system.

The many standard cabins are of an adequate size, and have just enough functional facilities to make them comfortable. Twin lower beds convert to queen-size beds, and there is a reasonable amount of closet and drawer space, but little room between the bed and desk. Note that the bathrooms are small but functional, the shower units are small, and there is no cabinet for personal toiletries.

Choose suite-grade accommodation for more space, including a curtained-off sleeping area, a good-size outside balcony with part-partition, lounge with sofa, two chairs and coffee table, three closets, plenty of drawer and storage space, TV set and video player. The bathroom is large and has a full-size tub, integral shower, and two washbasins/two toiletries cabinets.

For the ultimate accommodation, choose the Royal Suite, which resembles a Palm Beach apartment and has a white baby grand piano. It has a separate bedroom with king-size bed, living room with queen-size sofa bed, refrigerator/minibar, dining table, entertainment center, and vanity dressing area. Located just under the starboard-side navigation bridge wing, it has its own private balcony.

Dining. The expansive Aquarius Dining Room is set on two levels, with large ocean-view windows on two sides and a connecting stairway. You can choose one of two seatings (with fixed times for dinner), or My Time Dining where you can eat when you want, during dining room hours. So, what’s the food like? It’s like you’d get in a high-class American family restaurant, but with better presentation, table settings, and service.

Other dining options. During the 2013 makeover, several other restaurants and eateries were added, giving you more choice. These included:

Chops Grille (opposite the Schooner Bar): this venue features large-size premium-quality steaks and seafood items (a cover charge applies and reservations are required).

Giovanni’s Table (adjacent to Chops Grille): featuring Italian cuisine in a rustic setting (a cover charge applies and reservations are required).

Izumi: an extra-cost Asian-style eatery with a sushi bar and hot-rocks cooking (it’s open for lunch and dinner, with a small cover charge plus à-la-carte menu pricing).

Chef’s Table (located in one corner of the lower level of the Aquarius main dining room) is a private experience, typically co-hosted by the executive chef and sommelier for a multi-course wine-pairing dinner (it’s a little expensive, but worth it for a special occasion).

Park Café is a casual no-charge market-style eatery for salads, sandwiches, soups, and pastries.

A drinks package is also available at all bars, in the form of cards or stickers. This enables you to pre-pay for a selection of standard soft drinks and alcoholic drinks, but the packages are not exactly easy to understand.

The Windjammer Café is the casual dining spot for self-serve buffets (open for all meals and late-night snacks). It is quite large, and, because it’s positioned at the front of the ship, has fine ocean views.

Entertainment. The Masquerade Theater, the ship’s principal showlounge, is located in the forward section of the ship and presents production shows and major cabaret shows. It is a large, but well-designed, room with main and balcony levels, and good sight lines from most of the banquette seats.

Other cabaret acts perform in the Some Enchanted Evening Lounge, located aft, and these include late-night adult comedy, as well as live music for dancing. A number of other bars and lounges have live music of differing types.

The entertainment throughout is upbeat - in fact, it’s difficult to get away from music and noise. There’s even background music in all corridors and elevators, and constant music outdoors on the pool deck.

Spa/Fitness. The Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, with its solarium and indoor/outdoor dome-covered pool, Inca- and Mayan-theme decor, sauna/steam rooms, and gymnasium, is for health-conscious fitness buffs. For more sporting types, there is activity galore - including a rock-climbing wall with several separate climbing tracks, located outdoors at the aft end of the funnel.