While preparing for this trip, I thought I should get myself familiarized on what awaits my 12-night Baltic Cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean International’s Vision of the Seas. Completed on 15 April 1998, Vision of the Seas sailed for the first time on 02 May 1998 in Europe. Refurbished fifteen years later in order to accommodate additional staterooms, including fixture of the poolside’s movie screen, upgrade of existing staterooms’ amenities, additional food and beverage lounges, nursery for babies and toddlers, and WiFi Internet facility, this cruise promises a beautiful memorable experience for everyone on board. So what does this cruise actually offer?
Days (or 12 Nights) on Board the MS Vision of the Seas
Departing in the afternoon from Amsterdam port on 10th May, and returning to the same port early morning on 22nd May.
Cities in the Itinerary
From Amsterdam, the ship will sail to, and dock at Skagen, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, and back to Amsterdam.
Days in St. Petersburg
What attracted us the most in joining the Baltic Cruise, is the two-day stay in the city of St. Petersburg, during which time we are hoping to visit all of its famous historic sites; namely, The State of Hermitage, The Imperial State of Peterhof, Peter and Paul Fortress, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Yusupov Palace, Tikhvin Cemetery, Nevsky Prospekt, and Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood.
passengers on the ship
With a gross tonnage of 78,340, Vision of the Seas can accommodate up to 2,435 passengers.
square foot Vegas-style Casino Royale® with 194 slots and 9 tables
This flamboyant gaming facility operates as soon as the ship is within clearance limit from the port.
Decks on board
The ship has a total of 11 decks on board, out of which 10 are utilized as passenger decks (i.e., 5 decks for staterooms, and 5 decks for dining, wellness, shopping, sports, and entertainment facilities).
Deck 9 holds two pools: the Main pool area that has four whirlpools surrounding it; and the “Solarium”, an “adults-only” retreat, which is flanked by two whirlpools. It is said that these pools are open 24 hours, unless otherwise stated. For pool purposes, “adult” is defined as 16 years old and above. The Main pool and one of the whirlpools are equipped with hydraulic lifts for the disabled.
Aquarius – main dining room spread on Decks 4 and 5, and with a seating capacity of 1’158 guests. It serves in an open plan seating an á la carte breakfast with waiter service, and a Brasserie 30 menu for lunch (on sea days only). For dinner, there are two options that guests can choose from – (1) Assigned Dining (same table each night), or (2) My Time Dining (preferred mealtime, different table each night).
Giovanni’s Table – as the name suggests is a traditional Italian Trattoria designed for casual dining. A new restaurant added when the ship was refurbished on Deck 6 of Vision of the Seas. This specialty restaurant started operating in 2013. It has a seating capacity of 78 guests and charges USD15 per guest for lunch and USD20 per guest for dinner. Reservation is recommended particularly at dinner time.
Izumi – Up on Deck 12, with a seating capacity of 79 guests, is another new food and beverage outlet that was added in 2013, serving Asian and Japanese food. In addition to á la carte prices, the restaurant charges a dining fee of USD3 for lunch, and USD5 for dinner, per guest.
Chops Grille – Seafood, Steak House. This restaurant replaced the Showboat Lounge on Deck 6 when Vision of the Seas was refurbished in October 2013. The restaurant seats 74 guests and only serves dinner from 6:00 to 9:30 pm for a dining fee of USD30 (including gratuities) per guest. Reservation is recommended.
Park Café – replaced the old Solarium Café on Deck 9 when Vision of the Seas was on dry dock in 2013. This self service deli style Café is open for breakfast from 7:30-10:30 am, lunch from noon until 6:00 pm, and evening snacks from 10:00 pm to 1:00 am.
Room Service – available on board anytime of the day, a guest can order breakfast, lunch and dinner using the Room Service Menu. With the exception of departure morning, breakfast is delivered between 7:00 and 10:00 am daily. However, the guest must place the completed order form before 3:00 am on the outside door handle of the guest’s stateroom.
Chef’s Table – A cordoned area on Deck 4, hosting dinner on select nights only, for a maximum of 14 diners. For a cover charge of USD95, a guest partakes in a unique culinary experience where a five-course set menu of gourmet dishes, specially prepared and personally presented by the Chef de Cuisine, is served. Every course comes with wine chosen to enhance their enjoyment of the palate. Prior to the meal, participants are served champagne while they meet and greet each other. At the end of the two to three hours dinner (7:00-10:00 pm), each participant gets to take home an autographed Savor cookbook.
Windjammer Café – Another self service Café located on Deck 9 serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a seating capacity of 454 guests. It is fully complimentary, and provides a tea, coffee and water 24-hour self service dispenser. Serving a wide range of Asian speciality selections, you can enjoy your full day meals in this Café without having to spend more.
Concierge Club and Diamond Club – VIP access only, serving Continental Breakfast and open bar evening drinks.
Bars and Lounges
Viking Crown Lounge – serving a wide selection of appetizers á la carte, for guests to enjoy with a drink up on Deck 11 from 5:00 pm until midnight. This 75-seat lounge offers a spectacular sea view that transforms into a dance club at night.
The Schooner Bar – with floor to ceiling tempered glass covered windows on Deck 6, it can easily accommodate 125 guests. Nautically themed, it boasts of heavenly blue atmosphere during the day. The ambience switches into a romantic sky-lit evening as the venue converts into a piano lounge.
Café Latté-tudes – A coffee bar on Deck 6, with a seating capacity of 12 guests, this Café offers complimentary cakes, and pastries from 7:00 am until 11:00 pm. However, they charge a small fee for coffee.
R Bar (Cocktail Bar) – seating 41 guests on Deck 4, this iconic bar showcases a 1960’s vibe. High flying acts and shows entertain guests with classic taste while enjoying their drinks. This Cocktail Bar replaced the old Champagne Bar when the ship has undergone full refurbishment in October 2013.
Alfresco Pool Bar – Serves the guests with refreshments on Deck 9 throughout the day.
Concierge Club – Added in October 2013, this 30-seat Concierge Lounge located forward of Deck 11, port side, is reserved for guests staying in Grand Suite-level rooms and higher, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club Crown & Anchor® Society members. It serves complimentary Continental Breakfast and evening drinks.
Diamond Club – Also added in October 2013 aft of Deck 6, this lounge can seat 28 guests with Diamond, Pinnacle Club and Diamond Plus Crown & Anchor® Society membership. An evening open bar, it also serves complimentary Continental Breakfast, and features a self service coffee machine.
Ben & Jerry’s – An Ice Cream Bar also located on Deck 6, it serves different ice cream flavors, charged at á la carte prices.
I am so looking forward to this trip. Will you come with me? Let’s get cruisin’!