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Vision of the Seas

Royal Caribbean cancels all Vision of the Seas cruises from Bermuda

In:
20May2021

Royal Caribbean's restart plans in 2021 have hit another snag, as a second ship is having her entire summer season cancelled.

The cruise line announced Vision of the Seas' summer season from Bermuda in 2021 is now officially cancelled.

This affects Vision of the Seas Bermuda departures between June 26 – August 28, 2021.

In an email, Royal Caribbean said the past few weeks have been, "tumultuous", and that, "recent conversations have led to promising movement for the cruise industry and are the necessary steppingstones to get Royal Caribbean back."

Royal Caribbean sees the likelihood of cruises returning to the United States getting better each day, "and with that, U.S. travelers are increasingly showing a preference for more direct access to ports of departure."

Those on cancelled cruises have a few choices for compensation:

125% Future Cruise Credit: 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) which is based on the total cruise fare paid per guest and will be automatically issued on or before June 18, 2021. Taxes and fees, as well as any pre-purchased amenities or onboard packages, will be automatically refunded to the original form of payment within 45 days from the cancelation date.

Full refund: return the funds paid per guest when selecting this option on or before June 30, 2021. Guests can expect their refund to the original form of payment within 45 days from the cancelation date.

Vision of the Seas is the second Royal Caribbean cruise ship to have her entire summer 2021 restart season cancelled, following Odyssey of the Seas having her cruises from Israel cancelled.

She was scheduled to sail from Bermuda, and offer 7-night sailings down to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

With the announcement, this leaves now just three ships with firm restart plans for summer 2021: Adventure of the Seas from Bahamas, Anthem of the Seas from England, and Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus.

Some travel agents I spoke with seem to think one of the root causes of Vision's cancellation was poor sales, but the cruise line did not specify if that was the case or not.

In an email sent to guests, Royal Caribbean said, "our guests have reached out to us in overwhelming numbers to let us know they're waiting in anticipation for our U.S. debut."

In April, Royal Caribbean began subsidizing flight costs to Bermuda for Vision of the Seas cruises, with fares as low as $99 from New York.

When announced, Royal Caribbean said they were taking the risk of subsidizing fares to get bookings going. 

Official statement

Royal Caribbean issued a statement to the media about why they cancelled Vision's sailings.

"As we return to sailing, we continue to be committed to delivering memorable vacations informed by valuable feedback from our guests and travel partners. The likelihood of cruises setting sail from the U.S. this summer is greater each day, and with that, U.S. travelers are increasingly showing a preference for more direct access to ports of departure."

"The decision has been made to cancel Vision of the Seas’ summer season from Bermuda. While we are no longer homeporting from the island nation, we still look forward to bringing our guests to Bermuda with several ships across the Royal Caribbean fleet as we have for many years. As we get back to cruising, our close partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and the Bermuda Tourism Authority is still focused on working toward the common goal of getting the community back on its feet by helping revive local tourism."

"We are reaching out to guests and travel partners impacted by this change to assist with their options. This cancellation does not affect any other open deployments."

Cruise fans react

The news of Vision's cancellation spread quickly among cruise fans, along with speculation as to why the decision was made.

On the RoyalCaribbeanBlog message boardsCGTLH thinks the decision makes sense given the logistical issues facing this itinerary, "Sailing north-south along the Atlantic during hurricane season. Just seems to be a recipe for sailing delays and cancelations. Add to the mix the implied need of Freeport for provisions and fuel loading. Just seems too many bits that could have gone wrong."

twangster thinks there is more than meets the eye with the change, "The cruise lines all appear to be convinced that a US restart is imminent.  They know something we don't."

10 Vision of the Seas tips, tricks and secrets

In:
27Apr2021

Have a cruise on Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas? There is plenty onboard to enjoy for guests of all ages.

Like all cruise ships, there are a few good tips and tricks to maximize your time and money onboard.

Here are my best tips for someone sailing on Vision of the Seas.

Park Cafe is a must eat spot

There is plenty of good food onboard Vision of the Seas, but a great spot for complimentary food throughout the day is Park Cafe.

Located in the Solarium, you can find some of the best quick grab-and-go food choices here. Soup, sandwiches, dessert and more are available.

Be sure to try the famous roast beef sandwich here at least once!

Park Cafe is also a great alternative to the Windjammer on embarkation day because it will be far less crowded.

And yes, kids are allowed to go to Park Cafe, even though it is located in the adults-only Solarium area.

Don't miss the events in the Centrum

Throughout the day and night, Royal Caribbean hosts events at the base of the Centrum.

The large open space is where you will find live music, demonstrations, game shows and more.

The great thing about seeing shows in the Centrum is you can quickly see what is happening from one of the overlooking decks.  If it interests you, pull up a chair and enjoy. If not, you can move on to somewhere else onboard.

Read more: Cruise Compass archive

Free sauna and steam room

The fitness center locker rooms have a free sauna, steam room, and very large showers for anyone to use free of charge. 

The showers are great for families, and the sauna and steam rooms are lesser-known amenities open to guests on Vision of the Seas.

Restaurants included with your cruise on Vision of the Seas

Wondering where you can eat with no additional cost on Vision of the Seas?

Here is a list of options:

  • Windjammer (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Main Dining Room (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Cafe Latte-tude (Early morning until late night)
  • Park Cafe (afternoon and late night snacks)

Read moreFood on a Royal Caribbean cruise

Save money with a specialty dining package

If you plan on eating at more than 1 or 2 specialty restaurants while on Vision of the Seas, you probably should invest in a dining package.

Specialty dining packages offer a fixed cost for some, or even unlimited, specialty restaurants during your cruise.

There are three specialty restaurants on Vision of the Seas that are included with the packages:

  • Giovanni's Table
  • Chop's Grille
  • Izumi

Be sure to buy dining packages before your cruise to save even more money.

Keep in mind there may be some extra cost items at these locations, and Chef's Table is not included with the specialty dining package.

Overnight in Bermuda

Just for summer 2021 cruises, Vision of the Seas will not only sail from Bermuda, but also offer guests an overnight to explore Bermuda’s culture, history and cuisine.

The ship will offer an overnight stay in Bermuda, which means the ship acts like a floating hotel, where you can come and go as you please to provide plenty of time to enjoy everything Bermuda has to offer.

An overnight stay in any port is a special experience, and allows much more flexibility in making plans, as well as being able to enjoy the nightlife of the island.

Read Cruise Compass to see entertainment each night

There will be nightly entertainment around the ship, so be sure to read about what is offered in your Cruise Compass.

Each evening, your stateroom attendant will deliver a new copy of the next day's schedule.  You can also find the schedule in Royal Caribbean's app.

It is a good idea to read about what is coming up, so you can plan ahead for the must-see shows.

Download Royal Caribbean's app

Royal Caribbean's app has gone from "nice to have" to "must have" quite quickly, and it is your key for a smoother experience overall.

Not only does Royal Caribbean's app allow for a smoother and faster embarkation process, it makes managing your schedule super easy.

Royal Caribbean has even said that its app is required, so download the app before you leave home and ensure it is set up prior to arriving.

Read moreThe Royal Caribbean App: Everything you should know

Register kids for Adventure Ocean on the first day

If you have kids, there is complimentary kids programming that is supervised and a lot of fun.

Children are separated into different age groups to ensure programming is appropriate:

  • Aquanauts: 3-5 years old
  • Explorers: 6-8 years old
  • Voyagers: 9-11 years old
  • Teens: 12-14, 15-17 years old.

Adventure Ocean is run every day, but you want to register them on the first day of your cruise.

There will be an open house held (usually in the early afternoon) of the first day of the cruise, so be sure to go up to meet the staff and meet the staff. Plus, it will save you time later.

Read moreCruising with kids on Royal Caribbean

Make plans for your visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay

Summer sailings on Vision of the Seas will stop at Royal Caribbean's private island of Perfect Day at CocoCay, and it is a must-see destination.

The key to having an amazing day here is to pre-purchase any add-ons you want to try.

CocoCay has so many great things to do, including a water park, zip lines, cabanas to rent, beaches, and even a giant pool.

Read morePerfect Day at CocoCay prices and costs

Be sure to check out what is available to book before your cruise.  If something is of interest, you should absolutely pre-book it to secure a spot. Many amenities can easily sell out, or cost more if you wait to book onboard the ship.

You should also know that there is plenty of great things to do at CocoCay without spending a dime extra. The island's beaches and pool are included with your cruise fare, along with most of the dining establishments.

Read moreTop 10 Perfect Day at CocoCay secrets and tricks

Royal Caribbean subsidizing flights from New York to Bermuda for summer 2021 cruises as low as $99

In:
21Apr2021

Royal Caribbean really wants people to book a cruise on Vision of the Seas this summer.

Royal Caribbean's Senior Vice President, Sales, Trade Support and Service, Vicki Freed, hosted a webinar for travel agents on Wednesday where new discounts on flights for Vision of the Seas from Bermuda this summer were announced.

Royal Caribbean Senior Manager Renee Didier said that Royal Caribbean has renegotiated new airfare rates for these Vision of the Seas cruises, while also subsidizing fares if booked through the cruise line's airline booking service, Air2Sea.

Rates are now as low as $99 per person roundtrip from Newark or LaGuardia airports in New York City.

"Your clients can now fly out of LaGuardia or Newark and pay $99 roundtrip."

There were no example fares provided for other cities during the webinar, but it was inferred that lower rates could be found from other markets as well.

Comparing flights in June and July from New York to Bermuda on Flights.com, the lowest price per person shows up as $335 per person.

Rates for the Vision of the Seas cruises from Bermuda with airfare included could be as low as $649 per person, and less than $600 per person for third and fourth in the same room.

Ms. Freed added that Royal Caribbean has "taken risk" with these subsidized fares to get bookings going. 

Beginning in June, Vision of the Seas will be sailing from Bermuda through August. 

Vision's sailings will include lots of time in Bermuda, as well as a stop at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Royal Caribbean has also been working with Bahamasair to offer better prices and more opportunities for its Bahamas cruises on Adventure of the Seas.

How to look up airfare through Royal Caribbean

Guests can book their airfare through the Air2Sea website directly, or through their travel agent.

There is nominal service fee to use Air2Sea. Royal Caribbean International charges a service fee of $15 USD per person for travel within North America, and Canada, and $25 USD per person for International destinations. 

Besides the subsidized rates Royal Caribbean is advertising, the other compelling reason to book airfare through Royal Caribbean is the cruise line will assist in getting you onboard the ship should a travel delay impact your ability to get onto the cruise.

Bookings can be made via the Air2Sea website, as well as calling 844-278-9745, or speak to your travel agent.

How to get a health visa for your summer 2021 Royal Caribbean cruises

In:
17Apr2021

Royal Caribbean will be sailing from new homeports this summer outside the United States, but in order to get there, you will need to complete a health visa.

In addition to having a passport, the government of these countries where Royal Caribbean's ships are sailing from requires international visitors provide a health visa that proves they do not have Covid-19.

Getting a health visa is a mere formality, but it is an additional step that never existed before in the repertoire of cruisers.

In each case, expect to incur a little bit of time and money to get it all done right before your sailing.

Adventure of the Seas

The Bahamas requires a travel health visa that you can start filling out now.

The health visa is available online, where you can first create a profile for everyone traveling.

Similar to Royal Caribbean's online check-in, you will add your name, information and even upload a photo of your passport.

Bookmark the site, and then plan to get a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test taken no more than five (5) days from collection date (date of test) to date of arrival.

Test results must be uploaded to the Bahamas Travel Health Visa portal and presented upon arrival. 

The cost of the health visa and PCR test are not included with your cruise, so it is a cost you will have to incur.

Vision of the Seas

Bermuda requires the Bermuda Travel Authorization to be completed by cruisers prior to their arrival on the island.

Guests sailing on Vision fo the Seas will have to have a negative PCR test result before traveling, testing upon arrival into the country and filling out appropriate entry forms.

Visitors must take a PCR COVID-19 test and obtain a negative result no more than five days before arrival. The day of testing is day 0.

According to Bermuda, guests must complete one to three days before departure the Bermuda Travel Authorisation process online which gathers important information for the island’s health and immigration officials; a $75 fee per traveler is required, which includes the cost of all COVID-19 testing in Bermuda. 

Each passenger must have a form completed regardless of age. Children 9 and younger do not have to be tested at any point, and their Travel Authorization fee is $30.

Bermuda has arranged an option for testing with AZOVA, where you can get PCR tests at Costco, or even an at home test.

Jewel of the Seas

Getting to Cyprus means you must fill out the Cyprus Flight Pass before you arrive.

It is not clear exactly what will be required for guests traveling to Cyprus yet. Royal Caribbean says "it is likely" that a RT-PCR test will be required prior to boarding and obtain a negative result.

"Royal Caribbean will update booked guests via email and text message, in the 30 days prior to sailing, to reinforce the latest requirements for the designated departure port."

Vision of the Seas cruises from Bermuda now available to book

In:
29Mar2021

Royal Caribbean's second cruise ship to sail from North America this summer is now available to book.

Vision of the Seas reservations are open for booking by guests on its website, as well as by calling or booking through a travel agent.

The new bookings are available to book immediately, beginning with the June 26 sailing. Sailings between June and August 2021 are open for booking.

Guests of any nationality or residency may book these sailings, but all guests 18 years or older must be fully vaccinated by the time of sailing.

The requirements to book a Vision of the Seas cruise from Bermuda are:

  • For guests 18 years of age and older, proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19
  • Proof of a negative SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test result for entry into the country where you are sailing from (age requirements vary by jurisdiction)
  • Completed Royal Caribbean Health Questionnaire, available in the app 24 hours before sailing
  • Typical travel documents, including passport or any visas as required by the departure country

Prices for Vision of the Seas sailings begin at $514 per person.

The sailings will visit Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas before returning to Bermuda to offer an overnight stay in Bermuda.

Just like Adventure of the Seas from The Bahamas, Vision of the Seas will sail from Bermuda as a means to get around the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ban on cruise ships.

Other ships scheduled to sail this summer include Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus, Odyssey of the Seas from Israel, and Quantum of the Seas from Singapore.

In December 2021, Grandeur of the Seas will begin cruises from Barbados.

Meanwhile, pressure continues to mount in the United States to get the CDC to lift its ban of cruise ships, or at least open a pathway for cruises to restart sailing.

A series of statements from local and state officials have come out lately in support of getting cruise ships sailing again, given the massive double standard in policy they are facing.

The cruise industry is also asking travel professionals and cruise fans to step up and tell their leaders to pressure the CDC as well.

Royal Caribbean announces Vision of the Seas will sail from Bermuda

In:
23Mar2021

Royal Caribbean announced its second cruise ship to restart North American cruises will be Vision of the Seas from Bermuda.

Similar to the cruise line's announcement last week that Adventure of the Seas would restart cruises from The Bahamas, Vision of the Seas will sail from outside the United States so that it can offer cruises sooner and without approval from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Building on the cruise line's slow and calculated return to service, Vision of the Seas will begin sailing from Bermuda and offer cruises that visit Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Just like Adventure of the Seas, sailings on Vision of the Seas will require all adults above the age of 18 to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

The cruise line also said current health and safety measure, like others, may evolve as they are evaluated on an ongoing basis.

In addition, travelers must meet the travel requirements of Bermuda. This currently includes receiving a negative PCR test result before traveling, testing upon arrival into the country and filling out appropriate entry forms. The most up-to-date policies can be found on Bermuda’s website.

Guests under the age of 18 will need to provide a negative RT-PCR test result.

The itinerary will be:

  • Bermuda
  • Sea day
  • Sea day
  • Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • Sea Day
  • Bermuda
  • Bermuda

Vision will begin sailings from Bermuda as soon as June 26, 2021. Vision will be offering a summer season between June through August 2021.

The new sailings open for booking on March 29.

As a result of this redeployment, previously scheduled Vision of the Seas sailings departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico are cancelled.

Those guests currently confirmed on impacted sailings departing June 6 — August 29, 2021 can choose from one of the following compensation options:

  • A refund of all funds paid
  • An elevated 125% Future Cruise Credit to sail with Royal Caribbean at a later date

All impacted guests and associated travel agencies will soon receive an email notification to present a more detailed version of these compensation options.

In the meantime, cruises lines continue to wrestle with the CDC for progress at a glacial pace that will hopefully allow cruise ships to begin offering test sailings.

Right now, Royal Caribbean is waiting for technical instructions from the CDC on what ships need to do in order to be ready for the simulated voyages need to prove cruises can restart safely.

Royal Caribbean Group Chairman and CEO Richard Fain said earlier this week that he still doesn't know when cruises will restart in the US.

"As most of you know, the order called for several phases and for the CDC to issue detailed technical rules for each phase. The first of such technical rules was scheduled to be released in December, and many of you was asked when we expect to receive them. In fact, I would answer that the pace of science has simply overcome that process."

"We don't know what the CDC is contemplating to address this very different set of circumstances. But just as they and other public health officials are doing elsewhere, we expect they will all adjust to the changes that have been and are taking place today."

"The Conditional Sail Order was a very positive step at the time, but that time has passed. We look forward to a constructive dialogue with health officials in the United States and elsewhere for the path forward under these new circumstances."

Royal Caribbean cancels two sailings on Vision of the Seas & Anthem of the Seas to repatriate crew members

In:
04May2020

Royal Caribbean announced two upcoming sailings in June in order to assist with repatriating crew member efforts.

Vision of the Seas’ June 13th, 2020 and Anthem of the Seas’ June 20th, 2020 sailings are the two cancelled sailings that were announced today.

 

Royal Caribbean is using these ships to ferry crew members home due to local travel restrictions.

Unfortunately, local travel restrictions and commercial flights have made it extremely challenging to get our crew safely home. We’ve been working with our partners at Cruise Lines International Association and the CDC for months to get our crew safely home, and sailing to their home country is the best option.

As a result of the cancellation, Royal Caribbean is providing these guests with the option of a 125% Future Cruise Credit or a 100% refund.

Future Cruise Credits issued on these sailings should be received by Friday, June 5th, 2020.

The Vision of the Seas June 13th sailing was scheduled to be a 12-Night Mediterranean Greek Isles cruise from Barcelona.

The Anthem of the Seas June 20th sailing was scheduled to be an 8 Night Spain & Portugal Cruise from Southampton.

Royal Caribbean's plans to get crew members home was reported in the last 24 hours.

The crux of the matter that prevented crew from getting home sooner was evidently the CDC's rules for disembarking crew that included provisions such as requiring crew go home via chartered or private transportation.

In the letter from Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley to crew, it explains the legal entanglement that is created by sending crew home now, "The CDC will only allow us to disembark crew members if company executives, myself included, are willing to attest — subject to criminal penalties including imprisonment — that we will not use any public transportation and that each crew member will comply with certain conditions after disembarking the ships. We are happy to do all the things they requested, but the criminal penalties gave us [and our lawyers] pause."

While Bayley said he hopes the threat of criminal prosecution will be removed, he said, “we have decided that the importance of getting you home is so great that we will sign these documents as they are written today to help get you off the ships.”

Thanks to Katina Bradley for alerting us to this announcement.

Royal Caribbean expands new smartphone app to Vision of the Seas

In:
21Jan2019

Royal Caribbean has released a "soft update" to its new smart phone app that allows guests sailing on Vision of the Seas to start using the app.

The new version does not list Vision as a supported ship in the app store, but opening the app shows both ships on the list.  

The new app is being actively developed, which means not all features area available on the app yet.  Moreover, the cruise line is slowly rolling out support for more ships.

The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

Royal Caribbean redeploying four cruise ships for 2018-2019

In:
16Nov2017

Royal Caribbean informed travel partners that four of its cruise ships will be redeployed in 2018-2019.

In an unusual occurrence, Royal Caribbean is changing the deployment of ships that have already been announced.  Much of the change is merely swapping one cruise ship for another, but there are some cancellations included as well.

Majesty of the Seas will move to Tampa for sailings between 6/22/18 - 4/29/19.

The following Majesty of the Seas sailings are being cancelled: 5/7/18 - 6/18/18.

Guests on these canceled sailings will have their ship changed to Enchantment of the Seas.

Empress of the Seas sailings for 5/9/18 - 3/30/19 will be changed to Majesty of the Seas.

In addition to the change in ship, the 6/25/18, 8/6/18, 9/3/18, 9/17/18, and 10/1/18 sailings' itineraries will be modified.

Enchantment of the Seas will move to Port Canaveral, Florida for sailings between: 5/4/18 - 4/15/19

Guests on these sailings will be moved to Vision of the Seas, a ship in the same class.

The following Enchantment of the Seas sailings are being cancelled: 6/23/18 - 3/13/19 & 4/19/19.

Vision of the Seas is being moved to Galveston. 

The following Vision of the Seas sailings are being cancelled: 3/9/19 - 4/13/19.

New sailings will be open and ready to book on November 21st, 2017.

Royal Caribbean announces new Gulf Coast cruises in 2018

In:
01May2017

Royal Caribbean announced today a number of new sailing options to the Caribbean from New Orleans, Galveston and Miami.

After a three-year hiatus, Royal Caribbean will return to offering cruises from New Orleans, Louisiana with Vision of the Seas in the winter of 2018-2019. Beginning on December 15, 2018, Vision of the Seas will offer 7-night itineraries to the Bahamas and Yucatan Peninsula.  

Before making her way to New Orleans, Vision of the Seas will offer two 16-night sailings through the Panama Canal from Miami to Los Angeles, California. This will be the first time in three years that Royal Caribbean has offered a cruise through the Panama Canal.

Lastly, Mariner of the Seas will call Miami, Florida home in 2018, following a transpacific cruise.  Mariner of the Seas will be the first Voyager Class ship to offer short Caribbean sailings. Before she offers cruises from her new home, Mariner of the Seas will undergo an extensive 32-day revitalization. Once back in service, Mariner of the Seas will offer 3- and 4-night itineraries from PortMiami, beginning on June 21, 2018.

Enchantment of the Seas will join Liberty of the Seas in Galveston, Texas, offering 4- and 5-night Caribbean cruises. She arrives in Galveston on June 23, 2018.  Guests currently booked on Enchantment for sailings departing Miami after June 23 will be contacted individually to transition the original booking to Mariner of the Seas.

Sailings onboard Mariner of the Seas will become available to book on May 1, 2017.  Enchantment of the Seas and Vision of the Seas sailings will be available to book as of May 5.

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