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ELAINE HAMILTON

adapters vision of the seas

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Hi,

Vision has 110V US outlets and 220V European outlets in cabins, which is the same as all other RCI ships that we have been on. We usually take both types of adaptor to give ourselves the maximum of usable power supplies.

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Hi Elaine - no problem. It was just over 2 years ago that we were last on Vision but we are sailing on her again in a couple of week's time (May 2nd). So I will give a brief summary of our experiences when we get back. Vision may not be the latest and greatest but we really enjoy this class of ship. It is easy to find your way around and the Centrum provides a good focal point for entertainment away from the theatre. The itinerary on this cruise includes an overnight stay at Venice, which gives a chance to explore a little bit more of this unique location. Is this included in your sailing?

In our opinion, another plus point is that Vision is home ported in Barcelona for these cruises. We find it so much more pleasurable to use Barcelona airport and the taxi ride to the docks is relatively short and at a fixed price (we don't usually use RCI's transfers).

I will report back mid May.

John.

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Thanks folks ! Will take both adapters.

John, it would be great to hear your experience in May , any hints and tips would be fab.

Our cruise in July doesn't include Venice, We are Barcelona,Cannes, Florence & Pisa,Rome,Athens,Rhodes, Santorini ,Malta,Barcelona.

Can't wait !

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Will do.

We will be doing your itinerary in 2019. There are some great places included. We haven't been to Rhodes or Malta so it will be interesting to hear your feedback, if you wouldn't mind.

Cheers.

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Hi Elaine,

We returned from Vision last week and we had a great time. The ship is looking in need of some external cosmetic treatment, particularly at the water line, but it is in very good shape internally. More importantly, it felt to us that it is a really happy ship. All of the staff we met were great, which meant the atmosphere on board was very positive. The entertainment on board varied between excellent and ordinary, but everybody's taste is different in this regard. Food was very good overall. The menus seem a little more limited than they used to be but the choice is still sufficient. Dining room staff were brilliant. Giovanni's and Izumi were excellent in my view (we didn't use Chop's Grill). Windjammer is rather small so it can get a little crowded and the range of offerings is not as wide as it is on the larger ships. But we had no complaints.

We think that Barcelona is a very easy embarkation and disembarkation port. It is reasonably close to the airport and a pleasant place to stay either before or after the cruise. It is also nice to have fixed taxi tariffs that apply from the cruise terminal to the airport. Embarkation was brilliant - we arrived at the cruise port just before 11:00a.m. and we boarded within 15 minutes! Disembarkation was similarly speedy and, although there was what appeared to be an extensive queue for taxis, it was extremely well managed and moved amazingly quickly.

I know your itinerary is different to ours, but ours was excellent. Livorno is a good base from which to explore Pisa and Florence. These places are busy but well worth a visit, particularly if you haven't been there before. Similarly, Civitaveccia (for Rome) is a good opportunity to see the sights of that city. It can take an hour and a half, though, to get to Rome and sometimes longer to return. I would recommend using a Royal Caribbean excursion to see Rome as traffic can be bad and it would be easy to be late in returning to the ship. (This happened to me on a previous cruise - we were 3 hours late getting back and, if we had not been on an "official" excursion, the ship would have been long gone by the time we reached the cruise terminal.)

As an aside, I think the excursions are a bit expensive, but that is also in part due to the weakness of sterling at the moment.

Although we did not visit Athens and Santorini on this cruise, we have been to those places previously. In the case of Athens, it was worth visiting but a little disappointing. Piraeus is not the nicest location and there was conservation work taking place at the Parthenon. Inevitable, but it spoiled the experience to some extent. We love Santorini. It is beautiful and charming. The town at the top of the cliff is picturesque despite being thronged with shops and bars etc. The only thing to be aware of is that the cable car, particularly when returning to the ship, can be very busy with long queues forming. You can walk up or down the cliff path but you need to be fairly fit, not mind encountering (so many) donkeys, and be careful where you put your feet (donkey excrement etc.). We have seen people walking in flip flops here - not a good idea!

I hope this is of some assistance to you. Please let me know if there are any particular questions you would like me to address. I hope your cruise is just as enjoyable as ours was and I would love to hear your experiences when you return.

John.

 

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2 hours ago, JohnUK said:

Hi Elaine,

We returned from Vision last week and we had a great time. The ship is looking in need of some external cosmetic treatment, particularly at the water line, but it is in very good shape internally. More importantly, it felt to us that it is a really happy ship. All of the staff we met were great, which meant the atmosphere on board was very positive. The entertainment on board varied between excellent and ordinary, but everybody's taste is different in this regard. Food was very good overall. The menus seem a little more limited than they used to be but the choice is still sufficient. Dining room staff were brilliant. Giovanni's and Izumi were excellent in my view (we didn't use Chop's Grill). Windjammer is rather small so it can get a little crowded and the range of offerings is not as wide as it is on the larger ships. But we had no complaints.

We think that Barcelona is a very easy embarkation and disembarkation port. It is reasonably close to the airport and a pleasant place to stay either before or after the cruise. It is also nice to have fixed taxi tariffs that apply from the cruise terminal to the airport. Embarkation was brilliant - we arrived at the cruise port just before 11:00a.m. and we boarded within 15 minutes! Disembarkation was similarly speedy and, although there was what appeared to be an extensive queue for taxis, it was extremely well managed and moved amazingly quickly.

I know your itinerary is different to ours, but ours was excellent. Livorno is a good base from which to explore Pisa and Florence. These places are busy but well worth a visit, particularly if you haven't been there before. Similarly, Civitaveccia (for Rome) is a good opportunity to see the sights of that city. It can take an hour and a half, though, to get to Rome and sometimes longer to return. I would recommend using a Royal Caribbean excursion to see Rome as traffic can be bad and it would be easy to be late in returning to the ship. (This happened to me on a previous cruise - we were 3 hours late getting back and, if we had not been on an "official" excursion, the ship would have been long gone by the time we reached the cruise terminal.)

As an aside, I think the excursions are a bit expensive, but that is also in part due to the weakness of sterling at the moment.

Although we did not visit Athens and Santorini on this cruise, we have been to those places previously. In the case of Athens, it was worth visiting but a little disappointing. Piraeus is not the nicest location and there was conservation work taking place at the Parthenon. Inevitable, but it spoiled the experience to some extent. We love Santorini. It is beautiful and charming. The town at the top of the cliff is picturesque despite being thronged with shops and bars etc. The only thing to be aware of is that the cable car, particularly when returning to the ship, can be very busy with long queues forming. You can walk up or down the cliff path but you need to be fairly fit, not mind encountering (so many) donkeys, and be careful where you put your feet (donkey excrement etc.). We have seen people walking in flip flops here - not a good idea!

I hope this is of some assistance to you. Please let me know if there are any particular questions you would like me to address. I hope your cruise is just as enjoyable as ours was and I would love to hear your experiences when you return.

John.

 

1 believe my Sept. itinerary is the same as yours with an overnight in Venice. I'd love to hear what excursions you booked for visiting Rome and Florence as well as any other tips you have for touring the other ports.

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Hi John 

Thank you so much for your review and for taking the time to do it ! It was really interesting and informative.!We are counting the days and this made it all the more exciting .   We are staying   1 night in Barcelona both before and after the cruise, so we will take your tip and get to the port for 11am . We have booked trips to Monti Carlo and Monaco, Florence &Pisa and Rome all through Cruising Excursions.We were wondering about Athens , do we need a organised tour or is the port  close enough to get there ourselves ?    Could I ask another  couple of questions ? Could I take a small travel kettle  ? I like my early morning cuppa ! Also what time is disembarkation if you do not have an immediate flight to catch .

thanks again !

Elaine

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18 hours ago, 41m33 said:

1 believe my Sept. itinerary is the same as yours with an overnight in Venice. I'd love to hear what excursions you booked for visiting Rome and Florence as well as any other tips you have for touring the other ports.

I think you will have a great time. Sailing into Venice is a fantastic experience and the ship docks quite close to the main attractions. We took an excursion that started at the ship, and visited San Georgio, a Murano glass factory and a gondola ride. A bit cheesy, perhaps, but it had to be done and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The other, unexpected highlight was sailing into Kotor. I didn't know anything about Montenegro, but sailing into a fjord with mountains on either side made for dramatic and memorable scenery.

Sorry, you didn't ask about that; I just got a little carried away.

On this trip, we only went to Pisa from Livorno. It was a shorter trip that suited us better this time around. It was a very pleasant trip. The architecture of all buildings is impressive, but the famous leaning tower steals the show. There are lots of visitors, though, so be prepared for it to be busy. It doesn't detract too much from the experience.

Again, on this trip, we didn't go into Rome. Previously, we visited the Colosseum, the Vatican, etc. all of great interest and well worth seeing. But crowds are to be expected. An organised excursion assists greatly in avoiding the queues for entrance tickets.

Other excursions we took this time included Herculaneum (from Salerno) as an alternative to Pompeii. I had been to Pompeii before and recommend it. Herculaneum is smaller and a little less impressive but certain features have been better preserved. This includes painted columns and walls with some mosaics and even a shop advert for a wine seller.

At Ravenna (although some sailings are calling at Split rather than Ravenna) we had a relaxing excursion on a river boat, sailing into a lagoon and watching water fowl and flocks of flamingos. Not to everyone's taste, but it worked for us.

At Villefranche and Kotor, we just got off the ship (tendered at both) and walked around. Both places were fascinating in quite different ways. The walled city at Kotor was particularly interesting; we had not seen anything quite like that before.

I hope this is of some use to you and you have a fantastic time.

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1 hour ago, ELAINE HAMILTON said:

Hi John 

Thank you so much for your review and for taking the time to do it ! It was really interesting and informative.!We are counting the days and this made it all the more exciting .   We are staying   1 night in Barcelona both before and after the cruise, so we will take your tip and get to the port for 11am . We have booked trips to Monti Carlo and Monaco, Florence &Pisa and Rome all through Cruising Excursions.We were wondering about Athens , do we need a organised tour or is the port  close enough to get there ourselves ?    Could I ask another  couple of questions ? Could I take a small travel kettle  ? I like my early morning cuppa ! Also what time is disembarkation if you do not have an immediate flight to catch .

thanks again !

Elaine

Hi Elaine,

No problem. It's a good excuse to relive the holiday!

I would say it is preferable to get an organised tour at Athens. Piraeus sort of merges into Athens but it is about 20 minutes (from memory) to make the journey. The big advantage of an excursion is bypassing the queues to get into places like the Parthenon.

I don't think you will be allowed to take a kettle on board and you might be provided with one, anyway. We were in a suite so both a kettle and coffee maker were provided, but I don't know if that is true for all cabin categories. From what I have read on this forum, it is for cruises starting from the UK, and it is definitely not for cruises from the US. I am afraid I don't know for cruises from the rest of Europe. However, room service for breakfast is free, so you could have tea delivered to you room each morning. Like you, I am addicted to my morning cuppa, but I would suggest asking for English Breakfast tea from the London Tea Company rather than the Fresh Fields brand.

If you haven't got an early flight, you could do as we did and leave the ship at around 8:30a.m. If your allocated disembarkation time is earlier, you can ask Guest Services, to change you to a later departure. I think 9:00a.m. is about the latest slot.

If you think of anything else you would like to know, please ask. But I am sure you will have a wonderful experience.

John.

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