Note: I was able to check out Royal Caribbean’s upgrades on Vision of the Seas during a free one night preview cruise with Travel Massive. If you feel that would influence my writing please stop reading now (but my opinions are my own).
Our stateroom was a junior suite with a balcony. There were two beds pushed together, with the option to separate again. Every Royal Caribbean cruise I’ve been on has been on older ships, where the staterooms look like they were decorated in the 90’s in order to be in style in the 80’s. The staterooms are now slightly more modern looking, and the flat screen tvs are a nice touch. If I had never cruised before I might not have thought they were “upgraded”. But compared to some of the dated looking cruise ships I’ve been on, the upgrades were good.
Junior Suite With Balcony
The room was very spacious, and had a nice seating area. It also had a large (for a cruise ship stateroom) bathroom with a tub.
While the tub was nice (it is usually a tiny shower stall in the rooms I book) it was NOT made for people over 6 feet tall. I am 6ft and my head was on the ceiling, as the bottom of the tub is raised from the floor. It’s something to take into account, especially for 6’3 guys! The balcony was very nice. I usually don’t spring for upgrades on short cruises, so it was a first for me.
Tip: I learned something new this trip. We didn’t choose our room, but here’s something to keep in mind. When booking a stateroom on a cruise, be sure to pay attention to what is located above the stateroom. Our room was directly below a late hours dining area, and we heard chairs dragging on the floor above us the entire night.
After checking out our stateroom, we went to tour the various staterooms and see some of the common area upgrades. All of the staterooms were nice, but the Royal Suite was over the top. In the main suite area there was a baby grand piano. The bathroom was the size of a normal stateroom, with a whirlpool tub!
Royal Suite Bathroom
The bedroom was also gorgeous.
Royal Suite Bedroom
We also checked out the Royal Family suite, which while not quite as elegant, sleeps up to six. There was a lot of space for a family to lounge around in. The rest of the staterooms were nice but not as impressive. The upgrades included flat screen tvs and more modern decor.
After checking out the various staterooms, we headed in to some of the upgraded restaurants and common areas. These included Izumi (sushi and Asian-fusion), Chops Grill (steakhouse), Giovanni’s (Italian) and The Chef’s Table in the Main Dining Room. The sushi in Izumi was delicious, I highly recommend it! (We’ll see if that changes after my upcoming trip to Japan though – EDIT: it didn’t, still great!). The Chef’s Table is an upgrade option, where you pay $95 to have an intimate dining experience with a five course meal and interaction with the chef as well as included souvenirs.
Chef’s Table Dining Experience
All of the common areas and restaurants were nicely done. Vision of the Seas originally sailed in 1998, but with the recent upgrades it was hard to tell.
We also checked out some of the lounges including the Concierge Club (select Crown & Anchor and select suite guests), Diamond Club (select Crown & Anchor guests) and Viking Crown Lounge (nightclub). They were nicely done and a relaxed environment to have a drink in. Note: M life by MGM Resorts partners with Royal Caribbean for certain benefits on board. M life is also a Hyatt partner, so if you have Hyatt status you may be able to match M life status and receive some Royal Caribbean benefits!
After a mandatory muster drill we headed to dinner. Royal Caribbean put their best foot forward and offered the menu from the formal night of the cruise (therefore likely the best food they offer depending on your tastes). It included options like scallops and surf and turf. While I remember the food on cruises being pretty good, I was blown away by the food this time. It was very, very, very good. (Keep in mind that this was sampling their best available menu.)
After dinner we headed to the atrium to check out the Aerial Acrobatic show. While the effects were neat, I wasn’t that impressed by the aerial acrobatics. I should mention that I am a HUGE Cirque du Soleil fan so I have high standards.
“The Centrum Experience” – Aerial Show
I have really enjoyed cruise ship entertainment in the past, so I was a little letdown by this. It wasn’t bad or anything, just nothing exciting.
After the show, we walked around the ship and checked out a few dancing areas. There were also some late night snacks offered in the Park Cafe. They were handing out light-up glasses and rings by the pool. It created a neat effect for dancing as they had a dj and the large outdoor movie screen lit up next to the pool. Everyone seemed to be having a blast.
Club Sabor on the pool deck
We woke up early the next morning (since we had to go to work!) and caught breakfast in the Windjammer cafe before disembarking. It was an okay buffet option. All-in-all it was a pleasant experience, and the upgrades made the ship feel much more modern. Thanks Royal Caribbean and Travel Massive for the chance to check it out!