We were very disappointed about our recent trip to Alaska on Vision of the Seas with Royal Caribbean. It was not just worth of the money. It was more waste of our precious vacation time.
We didn't have any choice when deciding the cruise. Our family booked the reservation as a large group last year. The traveling group ranged from 2 years old to 65. Most of the family had traveled with RC before in Mexico and were happy with the trip.
The service was poor. We reserved a port-a-crib well in advance for the 2 year-old toddler, and called twice to confirm it. Guess what, there was no crib when we arrived. Just to make the situation worse, the plane was delayed and by the time we got on the ship, it was past her bed time. She was so cranky. It took them 30 min to set a crib in the cabin.
Shampoo was out when we first got to the cabin. We had to ask twice to get it refill. It was so obvious the last day, because we had a glass with shampoo in there which we borrowed from our parents' cabin.
TV remote was missing for 3 days, before we finally got one. The feedback form was missing. By the time we had it, we were too busy with packing and departing the ship. Hmm...I wonder!
The food was disappointing - just a little better than TGIF (I mean the formal dining, not just the buffet). Where is the midnight buffet? and Alaskan king crab legs? Well, there is only ONE midnight buffet for the entire week. The line was about 30 minutes long. Maybe we were pampered by the SF Bay Area cuisine. There was absolutely no variety. The buffet was more like cafeteria in college. They pack up all the fresh food in Vancouver. We were on the south bound. So the food was at least one-two weeks old. Had some stale fruits.
So the weather was miserable. It rained on every port. There is a reason they named it 'Misty Fjords', or 'Icy Straits'. Be prepared!
The ship is OLD OLD OLD. We had a few holes on the ceiling in the balcony room. You see the age in the wear and tear and colors and design.
The excursion trips were over priced. Same dog sledding trip was $30 in Fairbank, but $120 booked through the cruise. Try to book the trip on land. They never sold out.
Don't take me wrong. We love Alaska. My husband and I spent our honeymoon there for two weeks. We love the majestic scenery, national parks, the friendly natives, and all the wild life. We don't mind the occasional bad weather. But we didn't really get to meet any of the real locals. Most of these ports are centered around cruise business. People who work there only stay for the summer, except Juneau. Many of the souvenier stores on land are also owned by the cruise companies. They want to make sure that every dollar you spend goes to them.
Do I travel again with RC? Most likely not, just based on the service and food. If you want to go to Alaska, try different ship.