Royal Caribbean remains a quality experience. We upgraded to a balcony room since we knew we would be gliding by fantastic sights. It was worth it. The room was really nice and we don't know if we will ever go back to the interior tiny rooms that we convinced ourselves were OK because we only slept there...
The Eastern Mediterranean cruise was a first for us.. We flew into Rome to join our son and a "quaint B&B we found on the Internet. We were looking for the best ways to be economical (it's a challenge our family persists in) We planned on the train from the airport to Termini end. It was 24 euros. As we walked the airport to baggage claim, we saw signs for bus lines advertising 5 euros transfers... We checked it out and thought it would be fine. We bought a round trip ticket for 8 euros. It was a short walk to the bus stop and easy to load suitcase in the outside bins. They let us off just outside the Termini, and took about 50 minutes. Our son arrived later that afternoon and he took the train as planned. He said it was a terrifically long walk to get to the station, then load the luggage on the train and haul it with them.
We toured Rome (not our first time, but perhaps our last) for two days. The pickpockets were worse than ever. My husband was picked twice within 30 minutes and both times he recovers his wallet from the hands of the pickpocket who got his wallet out of my husband from pockets. My son was picked the next day, and later on the way to the Termini to go to the port, I was picked by three young women who surrounded me. I also figured out what they were doing and batted one of them away from me as she reached into my bag.
We took the 'slow' train for 5 euros. It took about an hour, and the fast train for much more was about 25-35. The ship offered transfers back for 95 euros... We exited the train and walked about 3 football fields to the gates of the port where we then walked a little further to the cruise line shuttle bus.
Finally the cruise... great fun! Same food we expect on Royal lines. Ice Shows, great music, the Promenade!!. mini golf, volley ball, dodge ball, lots of varied activities.
Loved room service breakfast, and late night snacks of fruit trays, cheese trays and spinach dip and chips. Eating while watching the stars and passing by islands and sites. Even saw a small island that seemed to grow straight out of the water to a sharp peek.. watched as it erupted with a burp of smoke. We found out it was an active volcano.
We stopped At Messini and we went to Mt Etna, and our son and his wife went to another small town up a winding hill side road. He won on his excursion. I stayed on the ship and lounged at Crete while my husband and son went swimming at the beach. they switched stops because Greece was having strikes and protests, and went to Turkey next. We toured the bazaars and saw an old fort. The rugs were amazing and the work to make them incredible. But $1000 for a place-mat size... I will settle for walmart.
Greece was beautiful. We took a bus tour and stopped at a beach-side cafe for a break and at the acropolis. I think we could have spent a week there. It was clean and everyone was pleasant.
Back to Rome and my husbands fav.. Gelato.. sour cherry was the best! All in all it was great... I think I enjoyed the cruise more than the stops. and Definitely have had enough of Rome. The current condition of danger there is more than I want to experience again. Others on the cruise reports similar experiences and many not as successful as we were. One older couple were 'guided' into a narrow roadway and then surrounded and forced to provide the password to their credit card, and lost their passports and everything they carried. sigh... great stories if you save yourself and get away....