Vision of the Seas, part of Royal Caribbean's Vision Class of ships, is known for its stunning glass exterior -- more than 2 acres of glass were incorporated in its construction back when it launched in 1998. Nowhere is this more breathtaking than in the ship's Centrum, which spans five decks. A glass-topped dome floods the space with bright sunshine.
While Royal Caribbean is known for some of the largest ships on the ocean today, Vision is midsized, holding 2,050 passengers at double occupancy. Passengers seeking some of the bigger attractions found on the larger ships -- such as water slides, skating rinks and the like -- won't find them on Vision of the Seas. There are just two pools: one general pool and one adults-only Solarium. That said, even during peak spring break travel, it was rarely difficult to find a deck chair, and the ship's abundance of open deck space is welcome.
A ship that is more than two decades old is bound to show some wear and tear. We saw this in some of the staterooms, with some discoloration on the walls and well-worn carpeting and furniture. However, most of the public areas seemed clean, comfortable and well-maintained, and the glass gave the ship a bright glow throughout.
What Vision doesn't offer in bells and whistles or the latest-and-greatest thrills, it makes up for in an enthusiastic cruise director and crew and low-tech onboard entertainment, such as the wildly popular trivia sessions and evening game shows. Younger passengers and families seem to enjoy the opportunity to unplug and just have fun on this ship.
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In general, Vision of the Seas provides a good value, and maybe a good entry into cruising for people who might be intimidated to try a larger ship. Its shorter itineraries will help give you a good sense for whether cruising is an ideal vacation for you. For travelers who don't mind making their own fun, getting involved in the low-tech onboard activities, there is more than enough to stay busy during a shorter sailing.
A large percentage of travelers on Vision of the Seas are families, including people with young children and also multigenerational groups. During school breaks and summer, expect typical "spring breaker" crowds, including lots of college students and school-aged kids. Most cruisers are from North America.
Daytime: During the day, swimsuits, cover-ups, shorts and tank tops are par for the course aboard Vision of the Seas.
Evening: The ship's shorter four- and five-night itineraries feature only one formal night in the main and specialty dining rooms, and the rest are deemed "casual." For the most part, people wear sundresses, long pants and casual or button-down shirts to dinner. Formal nights range from special occasion wear, like beaded dresses and suits, to sundresses -- and many passengers opt not dress up at all. There are typically a couple of theme nights, such as "1970s" and "Tropical," which are completely optional.
Not permitted: Shorts, tank tops and baseball caps are specifically not allowed, but we did observe a few passengers skirting these rules.
For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Royal Caribbean.