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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    29

    1st Time for us on a Cruise

    HI

    Walked into travel agents last week and before we knew it had booked a RCL Cruise on Vison of the Seas Aug 2010 for a 5 day cruise.

    Only just found this site and a wealth of info it is too, and to be honest am a tad pessemistic now after reading some of the reviews, rants etc about this company / ships.

    Seems the cabins are too small (we are in an inner) , food is bland in the buffet place, long queues for the entertainment, no sunloungers as the regulars *book* them with towels ...:mad: even...ahhh

    Obviously we are all entitled to an opinion but in essence, has anyone been on VOTS and is she a good start for us? Guess it may be too late now as paid but any help appreciated, thanks


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Welcome aboard. Any Royal Caribbean ship is a good start for a first timer. The inside cabins are normally perfectly adequate - you will not be spending much time in it. Those of us who are lucky enough to get to cruise regularly, can get very 'picky' about stuff that first timers would enjoy!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    3,748
    Your first cruise is special whichever ship it is on. RCI ships have the wow factor but are different to a traditional British line and this will always put some folk off.

    There is loads to do with RCI and you won't want to spend much time in your cabin.

    We had our first cruise with MSC which has even worse reviews but we loved it so much that cruising is now something of an addiction. Whilst MSC wouldn't now be our first choice of company, I still have great memories of the excitement of that first cruise.

    Hope you have a great time on your first cruise.

    Cruising my way through life!

    Sue

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Thumbs up

    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    HI

    Walked into travel agents last week and before we knew it had booked a RCL Cruise on Vison of the Seas Aug 2010 for a 5 day cruise.

    Only just found this site and a wealth of info it is too, and to be honest am a tad pessemistic now after reading some of the reviews, rants etc about this company / ships.

    Seems the cabins are too small (we are in an inner) , food is bland in the buffet place, long queues for the entertainment, no sunloungers as the regulars *book* them with towels ...:mad: even...ahhh

    Obviously we are all entitled to an opinion but in essence, has anyone been on VOTS and is she a good start for us? Guess it may be too late now as paid but any help appreciated, thanks
    I've cruised on VOTS 3 times in the past 12 months! (she has some interesting and good value repositioning cruises). She's one of the smaller ships in the RCI fleet, a great size to start cruise holidays on, you should still get the wow factor but not be overwhelmed.
    VOTS was the 1st ship that I had an inside cabin on - I've never slept so well! - make sure you take an alarm clock.

    MDR food is of 'Banquet' standard, you may want to ask for more green veg tho. The menu is styled as 3 courses, but you can (and sometimes I do!) have 4 or 5 courses! you can choose 2 starters (soup and salad eg) and a pud and cheese and biscuits if you want. If you don't like the potato option on your main you can have jacket, mash, boiled, french fries or rice instead (ask at time of ordering). They are very flexible/accomodating.
    Don't get caught out by the bottled water at dinner :mad:- you have to pay for it - I ask for ice water instead (tap water is free).

    I seem to have started an essay here - let me know if you need more info

    Happy Cruising:D

    Last edited by Sophiesnores, Basingstoke; 2nd July 2010 at 11:29 AM. Reason: oops
    Helen

    the keeper Loobyloo, Hugo and Tinkerbell (the cats) and The Cluckingtons (the chickens)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    welcome to the forum. don't worry you will have a great first cruise as you have nothing to compare it to. RCI is a good starting point. go with an open mind. ask for any tips, excuse the pun :D, on the forum before you go.

    we always have an inside cabin and really like them. as they are dark and usually quiet so you will have a great sleep. :D just remember cabins are smaller than hotel rooms but usually have better storage. it's amazing what you can fit into the shelves and cupboards in the small bathroom. behind mirrors above the dressing table you can usually find secret cupboard space. there will be a safe in either the wardrobe or behind the mirror, this is free to use, unlike hotels.

    you will have a good choice of food. don't be frightened to ask for more. or if you like say two starters then just ask for them. the waiter won't raise and eyebrow at the request. you should see what and how much some if the yanks ask for.

    all drinks are more expensive than at home but they are free flow, so usually a double or more. all drinks will have an automatic 15% service charge added. tea, coffee and water are on tap, free, 24 hours a day from the self service restaurant. most of room service is free as well.

    have a great cruise.

    opps sorry another essay to read. :D

    don't want to work, just want to cruise.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    29
    Thank you so much everyone!!

    As it is my 50th Birthday pressie I want to enjoy....

    One good thing is, and am sure you won't believe me, is that I don't partake of the alchohol so good news for me on that then that I won't / shouldnt have a big bill...lol

    Anyhow, Helen, great advice and Issyalex, wish it was next week I go now....

    If I may, can I ask a few more questions?

    * Dress Code....I don't mind dressing up and do most weekends but hubby hates the suit....the dress code says 1 night to do suit so does everyone on ship tend to go by this? or do you have the rebels?

    * Is it wiser to get the cash pass card thingy....

    * Are any spa treatments offered for free?

    * Irons? Read somewhere they don't provide so how do you go on with creases lol?

    * 1st thing to do once you get on board?

    thanks a bunch


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    * Dress Code....I don't mind dressing up and do most weekends but hubby hates the suit....the dress code says 1 night to do suit so does everyone on ship tend to go by this? or do you have the rebels?

    ~ not everyone dresses up, I like to, but I think a suit on formal night would stop him feeling out of place. If you want to go casual you could skip the MDR for that night. There are those that wear their normal stuff every night

    * Is it wiser to get the cash pass card thingy....

    ~ It's not an option. The seapass is your onboard charge card and key for the cruise (I opt to pay mine on cc in USD and not let RCR convert to GBP, the cc exchange rate is better, look on your SetSail doc for the opt out box

    * Are any spa treatments offered for free?

    ~ no, it's a money making option for RCI, you may get some discounted treatments on port days

    * Irons? Read somewhere they don't provide so how do you go on with creases lol?

    ~ no irons, you can pay to have your clothes pressed, I find hanging items in the bathroom post shower helps the wrinkles drop out (shame it doesn't work for my skin

    * 1st thing to do once you get on board?

    ~ buffet lunch in the Winjammer if hungry, explore ship, take swimmers in hand luggage and pop into hot tub with a cocktail, find table in MDR, photos of MDR, pool, theatre etc whilst empty then find cabin and get ready for the muster (life boat drill). Cocktail for sailaway up on deck and watch the port slip away.....

    Last edited by Sophiesnores, Basingstoke; 2nd July 2010 at 06:50 PM.
    Helen

    the keeper Loobyloo, Hugo and Tinkerbell (the cats) and The Cluckingtons (the chickens)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    29
    Sounds fab Helen, thanks for taking the trouble...

    One last quezzy: Tipping, how do other recommend best way of doing it? I read that if you book a table even on flextime then its obligatory.does that go for all the gratuites?

    I find this one quite confusing


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Quote QUOTE: View Post
    Sounds fab Helen, thanks for taking the trouble...

    One last quezzy: Tipping, how do other recommend best way of doing it? I read that if you book a table even on flextime then its obligatory.does that go for all the gratuites?

    I find this one quite confusing
    for mytime dining you have to pay your gratuities up front (think of it more as a servicce charge) as you may not see your wait staff from any given night at the final night to hand over tips

    RCI give a guideline on their site, or you can opt to prepay gratuities (before you go or on your SeaPass account). Envelopes will appear in your cabin pre dinner on the last day so that you can hand out your tips

    Helen

    the keeper Loobyloo, Hugo and Tinkerbell (the cats) and The Cluckingtons (the chickens)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    2,410
    Images
    39
    Poppet
    if you let them know (via TA) that it's your birthday you should get a cake at dinner on that day. Happy 50th, a cruise is a great way to celebrate.

    What are you ports of call? Excursions can be expensive - there are some great tips on here http://www.cruises.co.uk/279-northern_europe

    If you visit the roll call section you may find others on your cruise (but you'll need to start a new topic) http://www.cruises.co.uk/689-vision_seas

    There's also a review section on Cruisedot http://www.cruise.co.uk/cruise-revie...n-of-the-seas/ take them with a pinch of salt

    Last edited by Sophiesnores, Basingstoke; 2nd July 2010 at 06:59 PM. Reason: added a link
    Helen

    the keeper Loobyloo, Hugo and Tinkerbell (the cats) and The Cluckingtons (the chickens)

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