Have enjoyed scanning the Cruisemates website-am going on first cruise in April 2005 -- flying from Nova Scotia, Canada to LA --leaving from there -- any advice or information re that particular ship would be appreciated--have read so much re attire and things to do--- a little confused but am getting excited.
Sure, would love some pics--have seen some pictures on RCCI web site but not that large--any pics of the ship itself?
Been reading a lot about some ships being more formal than others--my hubby does have a suit and picked up a sport jacket but is usually a very casual dresser and would prefer that-- ladies wearing gowns--dressy wear??? Hoping to wear sundresses--know that's okay but how formal is formal night? This seems to be our major concern.
Also, best way to go on ports-- book ahead or just go & wander or book with taxi driver at port of call as leaving?? Is it fairly safe? We are dong the Mexican cruise-- San Cablos, Purto Vallarta and Mazatlan--food okay to eat? Did check some web sites and got some good ideas--printed them off for our friends too re hotels that we can get into, beaches, etc.
Hey we always do the just book the taxi at the port thing... never had a problem...
especially loved the taxi tour in Puerto Vallarta.... and Mazatlan.. The Vision is a great great ship...have been on it twice... tons of fun..easy to meet people on ... and the service is wonderful...
Formal nights dont have to be that formal... it is more of what you want.. I just wear a suit and tie... but the jacket and tie come off right after dinner.. the dresses are real formal in some cases and not so formal in others.. its your own personal taste... but remember you are going to have some nice pictures taken those nights... so its whatever you want for the pictures more than anything..
I love to dress up and it is not for the pictures as we never have any taken. It is simply because it adds greatly to the cruising experience for me.
I was on Vision in June of 2004. I wore long dresses both formal nights and cocktail the rest of the time. Many still do dress for dinner, but certainly not everyone. We never run back to our rooms after dinner to change. I personally have always found that a bit silly.
We just arrived home from the Vision. It was a super cruise and the weather perfect. In Puerto Vallarta the cruise line offers an Historic Towns and tequila making tour. It as such a enjoyable tour. We enjoyed seeing the real Mexico and outlying areas. The tequila making was a small operation passed down through the generations. I thought it was a bargain at only $28.00 each. You also visit a wood carving and tortilla making factory. Cabo we went snorkeling and enjoyed the fish but the water was COLD! Mazatlan we took the city tour with Frank. He does private tours. This is his email. firstname.lastname@example.org The food was good and of course there is lots of it. The best show was the group who did a tribute to the Temptations. Don't miss the Vision Quest or Newlywed game they are so funny. They have a Western night and a 50's theme night. Some dress up but it is optional. The parties are late and do not happen until after the main shows. Let me know if you have any other questions. You will love this cruise!
Thanks for the ifo--really helps to hear from someone who was recently on the ship--again, I know I'm getting crazy with this but dress codes?? Dont' want to look out-of-place --formal night--long gowns, what? I have sundresses and long sundresses--maybe with a long scarf for over the shoulders--ok?? Trying to find a simple black sleeveless dress for formal night--that would be ok?
Do you have any practical tips? Anything I should take that I wouldn't think of? Lots of things to do during the day on ship? From what I understand, they leave an itinerary each day.
Spa? Expensive for massages, etc? Hairdresser?
Thanks for all your help--glad you had a great trip--we'll be sailing April 9th.
Nova, you will have a blast on the Vision. As to some of your questions the dress for the first formal night on Monday was much more formal than the second formal night, some beautiful gowns and tuxes and dark suits. I also saw women in dress pants sparkely tops and high heels. You can look prety nice just but adding nice accesories to a black dress. I had a lond black dress that I chanced the look by dressing it up and down, I actually wore it several times because it was comfortable and flattering. Most nights men wore hawaiian shirts and dockers women in sundresses and pants. The old addage. " take half as many clothes and twice as much money " is true. The rooms are set up with a lot of storage even though they are small. we were in an inside cabin and it was fine but it was dark and we never knew if the sun had come up and what time it was, there are no clocks, I would take one next time. Be kind to the room stewards and they will treat you like a queen. I found out our room steward hadn't been home in 5 months and he was very home sick, I hope we cheered him up. The food, I didn't cook so it was wonderful and lots of it, I gained 10 pounds and that black dress came in pretty handy lol. There are fun things to do in port and the cuise line makes it very easy and personally, I never felt unsure of what we were suppossed to do. Have a blast, it is vacation so don't let the little things bug you, like they say in Hawaii, " hang loose" you will have a great time.
Thanks Kristine--that's just the info I was looking for--going out this week to see if I can find that black dress--that was kind of what I had in mind--slimming too--I hope. I'm really starting to get excited now--so much great info and it sounds like the ship is great!
Will let you know when we get back how things went.
Less than six more weeks to go---Yea!
My first cruise was on Vision of The Seas. It's still my favorite. Great ship and food. We just did a second "Mexican Riviera" on NCL's Norwegian Star, which repeats some of the ports visited on Vision. We're budget cruisers, so never sign up for "excursions," but just walk or bus into town to see what we might want to do on our own.
Puerta Vallarta - we were here a couple of years ago, so knew the bus system a little. Your can catch the bus on the main road, just outside the port area, which costs (5 pesos - give them one US$, and get change for two people) $0.45 to take you "downtown," to the town square. A charming church, nice shopping, very little sales pressure from the locals. There are Sam's Club and Walmart very close to the dock, also. Nice beaches all the way along the coast towards the city center, which is about 3 miles.
Cabo - we were here two years ago, and couldn't stand the mob of Indian women and kids trying to sell us junk. We almost didn't get ashore this time. However, we DID go ashore for a great time - we walked straight out of the port area towards the Pacific. We hoped to be able to walk to Los Arcos (the arches), which are quite visible as the ship leaves the port on its voyage back to LA. We walked through a gated area known as Playa Grande, which has a number of very nice hotels. The door man welcomed us to come in, so we walked through the lobby, down past the pool, and onto the beach. We just kept walking to the end of the sand, where our path was blocked by some very scenic rocky cliffs. We took the sun for about an hour in an isolated little cove. We stopped at the hotel (Sundowner?) for beers and great fish tacos (cost about $15 for the both of us - we shared the taco appetizer). A lovely setting. No sales pressure whatsoever along the dock. I don't know what happened to the Indian women this time.
Mazatlan - we just walked into town (its actually a pretty large city) towards the cathedral, which is visible from the ship's upper decks. You can tour the brewery, which is also visible from the dock area.
About formal nights. We always have early dining. We are not ones to dress formally either. On formal nights my husband wears a sport coat, dress shirt, tie and slacks. I wear a dressy pant suit. A lot of other guests are dressed this way too. We do not feel uncomfortable dressed this way.
Hi again people-- Kristine--I found a nice gold & black sleeveless sparkly top & a nice pair of black slacks--hope this covers it for a 2nd formal night--Thanks again for your help--now for another question.... I have read lots of other message boards on this site and our (ours and another couple's) question is ... can you buy duty-free liquor on board to take to your room?? I have read lots re smuggling liqour on board--I know some of you don't approve--too bad..my vacation. If they sell good dark rum at a reasonable price then I won't smuggle--Now, tell me the truth. Also, wine prices for dinner-- by the glass or bottle-- No, we don't drink a lot-- just like a nice drink during the day and wine with dinner.
We sail on April 9th--thanks everyone--will definitely let you know how the trip goes--we're all getting so excited!!
Yes, you can buy liquor on board and pay a $9.50 cover charge to take it to your room. It was not that expensive even with the extra charge. I would go with what is the easiest for you. If it is easy for you to pick up a bottle do it or just buy it on board. Wine runs about $25.00 and up for a bottle. If you plan on having wine several nights buy a package and save approx. 25%. We brought a box on wine on board to share before dinner and bought a package to enjoy at dinner. Most of all have a great time!
The Vision of the Seas is my favorite ship - lots of glass and the solarium pool is wonderful for relaxation. A suit for DH and a long dress or evening pants with sparkly top are perfect for formal night. Even though you will still read that there is an Informal night (meaning sport coat with or without tie for him and dress or pants ensemble for her) most people just wear something of a nice casual outfit. Smart Casual is dockets and cotton or knit shirt for him with loafers or boat shoes and sundress, pants outfit or nice capri outfit or skirt set for her with sandals. For that black pants outfit you mentioned, in the gift shop, you should be able to find fake Parshima shawls for $10 apx. This not only makes a good souvenir, but you can wear it on your shoulders in case of cool airconditioning. They come in many colors, too.
If you book ship tours, make sure they are only half days, so you have time to explore on your own. As far as wine, RCI offers two wine packages once on-board. We did the 7 bottle one @ $148 inc. tip. You have your choices of red, whites and sparkling wines from a list of about 20 or less. Since I like White and he drinks Red, this worked out great. The waiter will cap the bottles each evening and return them the next night. Alchol is not allowed to be purchased on board for consumption in your cabin. Although you may hear reviews to the contrary. It is posted in the liquor shop on board, that is why people smuggle. If you are staying a night pre-cruise, then you may wish to buy a bottle of your favorite liquor in CA and just pack it in your tote bag to hand carry on board. Don't forget your favorite mixers also. Coke is apx. $2 per can. You can get fruit punch or lemonade in the buffet. If you buy liquor at port, just wrap it safely and put it in your tote bag, however, it will get scanned upon re-entry and may get confiscated and held for you until the end of your cruise. You do take a chance. They have the right to take it as that is written in your documents.