Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Royal Caribbean International
Cruise StyleMainstream
Ship SizeLarge

The last of Royal Caribbean’s Vision-class ships to launch, Vision of the Seas was introduced in 1998. In addition to new staterooms and a new family suite being added, upgrades to the ship in 2013 includes an outdoor movie screen poolside, Asian and steak-house specialty restaurants, digital signage, lounges for elite past passengers, and a new nursery.Read More

The first Royal Caribbean ships to offer balconies in a number of categories, these Vision-class vessels, named for sister ship Vision of the Seas, have acres of glass skylights that allow sunlight to flood in and windows that offer wide sea vistas. The soaring central atrium at the heart of each ship is anchored by a chic bar that fills with music after dark and is the ideal spot for watching the daring aerial performances overhead.

Big, bigger, biggest! Royal Caribbean has the largest modern mega cruise liners in the world, as well as some of the most innovative technology on its newest ships, from robot bartenders to the fastest Wi-Fi at sea. Its fleet of 25 and counting are all-around favorites of passengers—arguably the most multigenerational (and Millennial) crowd at sea—who enjoy traditional cruising ambience with a touch of daring and whimsy. Each ship in the fleet has action-packed activities such as surfing pools, rock-climbing walls, and on the newest ships, skydiving simulators, and 10-story slides.

Expansive multideck atriums and promenades, as well as the generous use of brass and floor-to-ceiling glass windows, give each vessel a sense of spaciousness and style. The action is nonstop in casinos and dance clubs after dark, while daytime hours are filled with poolside games and traditional cruise activities. Port talks tend to lean heavily on shopping recommendations and the sale of shore excursions.

  • 11 passenger decks
  • 2 specialty restaurants (3 on Grandeur and Rhapsody)
  • dining room
  • buffet
  • ice cream parlor
  • pizzeria
  • Wi-Fi
  • safe
  • refrigerator (some)
  • DVD (some)
  • 2 pools (1 indoor)
  • fitness classes
  • gym
  • hot tubs
  • sauna
  • spa
  • steam room
  • 6 bars
  • casino
  • dance club
  • library
  • show room
  • video game room
  • children’s programs
  • dry-cleaning
  • laundry service
  • Internet terminal
  • no-smoking cabins

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Pros
Cons
Open, light-filled public areas offer sea views from almost every angle
Each vessel now offers numerous dining options, both free and for a fee
Daring aerialists offer a new wow-factor high above the central atrium
Some lounges serve as a thoroughfare and suffer from continuous traffic flow
Except for premium suites, accommodations lean toward the small side
There are no self-service laundry rooms

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Layout
Suites
Amenities
Accessibility

Cabins are airy and comfortable, but the smaller categories are a tight squeeze for more than two adults. Every cabin has adequate closet and drawer/shelf storage.

All full suites and family suites have private balconies and a small minibar; full suites also include concierge service. Royal suites have a living room; wet bar; separate dining area; entertainment center with TV, stereo, and DVD player; separate bedroom; bathroom (twin sinks, whirlpool tub, separate steam shower, bidet); and separate powder room. Owner’s suites have a separate living area; minibar; entertainment center with TV, stereo, and DVD player; dinette area; and one bathroom (twin sinks, bathtub, separate shower, bidet). Grand suites have similar amenities on a smaller scale.

A vanity-desk, a TV, a safe, a hair dryer, and a seating area with sofa, chair, and table are typical Vision-class features in all categories. Bathrooms have shampoo and bath gel.

On Legend and Splendour, 17 cabins are wheelchair accessible; on Grandeur,Vision, and Rhapsody, 14 cabins are wheelchair accessible.

Food & Drink

Food

The two-deck formal dining room serves evening meals in two assigned seatings or an open seating; breakfast and lunch in the dining room are always open seating. Windjammer, the casual Lido buffet, serves three meals a day, including a laid-back dinner. As was the norm when these ships were built, dining selections onboard are pretty basic; however, specialty-dining options have been added. All ships now have restaurants serving Asian cuisine and a steak house, while Rhapsody and Grandeur also have Italian restaurants. Depending on the ship, Park Café or Solarium Café serves light fare and snacks in the solarium. Splendour also has Boardwalk Doghouse serving custom hot dogs. A coffee bar and ice cream bar offer specialty coffees and frozen treats for an additional fee. Room service is available 24 hours a day; however, there is a delivery charge after midnight.

Entertainment

Enjoy a Broadway-style production show, performances by guest entertainers, or a movie on the outdoor screen overlooking the pool, but don’t forget to look high above the central atrium for dazzling aerial performances. You’ll find lounges with music for listening and dancing when the entertainment staff ramps up the fun with themed parties. The Viking Crown Lounge is a great spot for late-night dancing or a nightcap.

Spa & Fitness

The full-service spa operated by Steiner Leisure offers an extensive treatment menu including facials, teeth whitening, body wraps and scrubs, massages, and acupuncture. Spa rituals also include treatments designed especially for men and teens. Although there is no thermal suite, complimentary saunas and steam rooms are in men’s and women’s changing rooms.

QUICK FACTS

SHIP STATS
Entered Service
1998
Number of Cabins
999
Passenger Capacity
1,800(2,076 max)
Crew Members
742
Passengers to Crew Ratio
2.43
Gross Tons
69130–78491
Width
106 feet
Length
915 feet
CRUISE LINE INFO
305/539–6000 or 800/327–6700

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