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Dissapointed P&O stalwart trying RCI Vision for first time.....tips please

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    Dissapointed P&O stalwart trying RCI Vision for first time.....tips please

    Having been a loyal P&O cruiser for several years, our recent cruise on Azura left us disappointed beyond belief so we have booked an 11 day Holy Land cruise in October on The Vision to make up for it. Never sailed RCI before so need to know the following:

    Is it best to book tours from ship and which ones are best from Ashdod, Haifi and Ephesus? (we're not religious or mad about museums, just interested in other cultures)


    What times are the shows (are there more than one performance) as we are undecided about dining times?

    Are fixed times best for dining (we always went for early sitting on P&O to make the most of evening entertainment) or is My Time dining better?

    Do many people dress formally i.e. does OH need his DJ and white jacket?

    Are there any dance facilities as we are both ballroom and ceroc (modern jive) fanatics!

    Looking forward to all your advice and tips.

    #2
    Originally posted by Norfolkgal, Norwich View Post
    Having been a loyal P&O cruiser for several years, our recent cruise on Azura left us disappointed beyond belief so we have booked an 11 day Holy Land cruise in October on The Vision to make up for it. Never sailed RCI before so need to know the following:

    Is it best to book tours from ship and which ones are best from Ashdod, Haifi and Ephesus? (we're not religious or mad about museums, just interested in other cultures)


    What times are the shows (are there more than one performance) as we are undecided about dining times?

    Are fixed times best for dining (we always went for early sitting on P&O to make the most of evening entertainment) or is My Time dining better?

    Do many people dress formally i.e. does OH need his DJ and white jacket?

    Are there any dance facilities as we are both ballroom and ceroc (modern jive) fanatics!

    Looking forward to all your advice and tips.
    Hi there Norfolkgal. I'm sure you will get lots of advice on RCI but from personal experience-

    There are always 2 performances of shows in order that both the early and late sittings for dinner can see them.

    If want to book My Time Dining, you have to pay your restaurant gratuities up front, which many people prefer to do as they say that the service is often better. We tend to stick to early sitting and tip at the end of the cruise. The service has always been excellent and we were happy to tip the recommended amount anyway.

    RCI shore excursions tend to be expensive IMO so we usually do out homework on each port of call in order to organise our own thing.
    You can get loads of info on ports of call from this forum and also if you use your search engine to access the relevant tourist sites.

    For instance, we will be visiting Ephesus in October from A RCI ship and my research tells me that it's very easy to do this independently and of course, a lot cheaper.
    As for formal nights, in our experience, people do conform to the dress code. My OH takes his Dinner suit etc for formal nights and a lounge suit for semi-formal.
    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by Smith7; 30th July 2011, 11:14 AM.
    Jill

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Norfolkgal
      IMO My Time dining was the better option. We prefer to eat around 8.00pm & never had a problem getting a table. You can pre-reserve a specific time for entire cruise if you wish. RCI have lots of 'Tables for 2' albeit they're fairly close together, however we tended to prefer that. Close enough to chat to others - we met lots of couples, but easier to have a fast turnaround & get to entertainment venues.
      As Jill mentioned check out the Ports Threads on the main board. It's normally cheaper to DIY but it also means you can tailor your tour to suit. At Ephesus we didn't pre-book a tour just got a taxi at the port exit. Can't remember the cost (there were 3 of us) but it was inexpensive & also meant we got there before the tour buses arrived.
      Tarkah

      Comment


        #4
        Good afternoon Norfolkgal.

        As one loyal P&O cruiser to another I am a little surprised to hear you had abandoned P&O for Royal Caribbean. I did have a check on the review pages of this website but could not find any reviews from Norfolk.

        I had a particularly good cruise onboard Azura in March, so much so that I booked a 24 night cruise next year, and took advantage of P&O's great deposit offer. Here is a link to my review:-

        http://www.cruise.co.uk/cruise-revie..._review_28622/

        As I did say, we took advantage of P&O's great offer and doubled our deposit money.

        Of course, I do not know if they have changed the entertainment staff since March but they certainly were an outstanding team when I was onboard.

        I do think you may be in for a cultural shock onboard Royal Caribbean, a cruise line I tried in February this year:-

        http://www.cruise.co.uk/cruise-revie..._review_28200/

        Do go with an open mind, and an open wallet, it's there to be enjoyed but definitely not P&O.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Solent Richard, Lee on the Solent View Post
          Good afternoon Norfolkgal.

          As one loyal P&O cruiser to another I am a little surprised to hear you had abandoned P&O for Royal Caribbean. I did have a check on the review pages of this website but could not find any reviews from Norfolk.

          I had a particularly good cruise onboard Azura in March, so much so that I booked a 24 night cruise next year, and took advantage of P&O's great deposit offer. Here is a link to my review:-

          http://www.cruise.co.uk/cruise-revie..._review_28622/

          As I did say, we took advantage of P&O's great offer and doubled our deposit money.



          Of course, I do not know if they have changed the entertainment staff since March but they certainly were an outstanding team when I was onboard.

          I do think you may be in for a cultural shock onboard Royal Caribbean, a cruise line I tried in February this year:-

          http://www.cruise.co.uk/cruise-revie..._review_28200/

          Do go with an open mind, and an open wallet, it's there to be enjoyed but definitely not P&O.

          LOYAL! I thought you ARE Cunard!

          Comment


            #6
            Hi Norfolkgal!
            I would like to know why you were so disappointed with Azura?
            Have you written a review?
            We are P&O stalwarts too. Although not averse to trying other lines.
            We are booked on Azura in September... first time on her. Read both for and against.
            Going with an open mind though. As I said on another thread 'One man's meat is another man's poison'
            sigpic*Carol M*

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by tomvet, limerick, roi View Post
              LOYAL! I thought you ARE Cunard!
              Do keep up young man. There are obviously more strings to my bow than you care to see.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Smith, Crayford View Post
                Hi there Norfolkgal. I'm sure you will get lots of advice on RCI but from personal experience-

                There are always 2 performances of shows in order that both the early and late sittings for dinner can see them.

                If want to book My Time Dining, you have to pay your restaurant gratuities up front, which many people prefer to do as they say that the service is often better. We tend to stick to early sitting and tip at the end of the cruise. The service has always been excellent and we were happy to tip the recommended amount anyway.

                RCI shore excursions tend to be expensive IMO so we usually do out homework on each port of call in order to organise our own thing.
                You can get loads of info on ports of call from this forum and also if you use your search engine to access the relevant tourist sites.

                For instance, we will be visiting Ephesus in October from A RCI ship and my research tells me that it's very easy to do this independently and of course, a lot cheaper.
                As for formal nights, in our experience, people do conform to the dress code. My OH takes his Dinner suit etc for formal nights and a lounge suit for semi-formal.
                I hope this helps.
                Thanks for all that, we are also on an RCI Vision cruise in October stopping at Ashdod, Haifa, Ephesus etc; and although we ahve always been ones to do our own thing, my OH is a little concerned about safety in these areas so reluctant to go solo! Is it safe to hire local taxi and is it expensive (where do I find advice on ports on this site as I'm new?)
                Also, I saw somewhere a "meet & mingle" group where you can contact other people going on same cruise - is it on this site?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for the info - all comments being noted and digested!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Good luck with Azura, hope they have different staff on and that they buy new bathroom linen! How do I write a review?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Best tip available - Don't do it..

                      Comment


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