Santo Domingo Stories and Tips

Festival Cruises on the European Vision

European Vision in the distance Photo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

I have been on a few cruises in the Caribbean, but this one was definitely overrated. This was supposed to be a fabulous New Year’s cruise, but everything except the islands was disappointing.

I think the main reason why I disliked this cruise line was because of the language issues. For most North American travelers, we are used to English-speaking cruises. This cruise line REALLY caters to the European crowd and it gets a bit overwhelming. English is not a language that is really used or catered to, and everything that is said on the PA system/ message broadcasts are translated into five languages: French, Italian, German, Spanish, and, finally, English. By the end of the cruise, we English-speaking few were laughing at all the time spent on saying everything over and over and over . . .

Overall, bars and lounges were nicely decorated and well lit, but the entertainment was absolutely HORRIBLE. It was the same old thing every night, and the entertainers were almost falling over from the movement of the ship. Onboard amenities and recreation were very minimal -- there was ONE little pool and then the so-called sports deck. Apparently, there was a golf simulator, but, naturally, it wasn't in working condition.

We unfortunately chose the second seating for dinner, and that was for 9:30pm. For other cruise lines, second seating is not a bad choice, because it allows you to go on the islands and still have enough time to get back to the boat without having to rush anything. In this case though, it was just too late. We ended up waiting for dinners, and, worst of all, some nights we ended up missing some of those "crappy shows." Snack times were nonexistent. There was only one pizza bar that was open during the afternoon hours and the lines were just ridiculous. Late-night food was also pretty pathetic, since there was a late night snack, which only served hamburgers, hotdogs, and french fries. I know I may sound very snob, or obscenely picky, but for $2,200 (standard cabin price), wouldn't you expect a little more?

Anyway, if you are reading this, please take note. To be honest, I'll probably cruise again, but only with the BIG names in cruise lines. I have been on three previous Royal Caribbean cruises and have only good things to say about them. So be careful in your travels, and have fun.

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