We traveled as a family of 5 (My parents, brother;28 years old, sister;24y.o., me;20y.o.) and this was our 'first cruise'. We have sailed on a Carnival ship before, but that was so many years ago that not even my brother remembers it that good.
We did our research on what ship we wanted to go on, and this one had the things we wanted. We wanted fun activities and just more than enough things to do. We can't be happier with the choice we made! This ship has so many things, we didn't even do all the stuff we wanted to do. Golf, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, the pool deck. There's more than enough things to do.
The boarding process went really good actually, for the amount of people who were there (at around 11:30AM) I would say in about 45 minutes we were on board. We had to wait a little for our rooms to get ready at 1PM. We stayed on the ship that day and walk around and get to know the ship.
Second day we arrived in Messina,Sicily. There's not much to do around the harbor itself, so we took the excursion to Taormina. Highly recommended. You have 3 hours 'free time' which is just enough time to walk the whole town. Lots of shops and restaurants/cafes. You can take lots of cool pictures here. And make sure the walk all the way to the Greek Theatre. In the evening there was a party in The Dungeon Club called 'Traffic Lights Dance Party' where you get a sticker. Green for Single, red for Taken and orange for 'Call Me Maybe'. This is a good place to meet the young cruisers like us, so of course my brother and sister and I went there. It's open till around 3.30-4:00 usually.
Third day was at sea. So we woke up a bit hung over from the night before at the club. We went and breakfast and then went to the pool. There were no chairs at all available. After walking like 4 rounds looking for chairs we just went to the bar and hang out a little till we finally saw a couple leave. We immediately went for their chairs. You have to keep an eye out for people leaving so you can get the chairs fast. There are 20 other people looking for the same chair, haha. This is a good day to plan your onboard activities. It's also a good day to get to know your 'new friends from the club' a little better and get that bond going.
Fourth day we arrived in Athens, Greece. We took the excursion called Highlights of Athens, I believe. It went to the Akropolis first. There are so many tourist there, so it kinda takes a while to get up there with all the busses and lines at the entrance. It was very beautiful! We listened to the guide man for a little bit, but then went to walk around since there was only like half a hour left before we had to meet back all the way down at the busses. Then it went to the city centre where there are like palaces and some high-end designer stores. We had the opportunity to get off the bus if we wanted to stay there and shop, but everybody opted to go back to the ship. The whole bus was tired from walking/climbing the stairs at the Akropolis.
Fifth day we were in Kusadasi, Turkey. We again took an excursion to House of the Virgin Mary. Very beautiful ride all the way to the top of the mountain. Was kinda disappointed with the attraction itself. You can see everything in like 5 minutes. You can also get Holy Water if you want. The tour then dropped us off at a carpet store to meet a guy called Tony. (Owner of the shop). He does a whole show for the group and tried to sell us some carpet hand-made. But you can only imagine the prices of those carpet. Out of this world. You can then walk to ship since its right in front of it. It's a area with lots of shops, so you can go shop around.
Sixth day we arrived in Chania, Crete. We wanted to chill out this day and our parents still had like energy to go for a tour. So they went to the Old City and we ' the kids' went to a beach for the young crowd. It was a beach club kind of place called Costa Costa. They had good house music and a bar and some fancy chairs on the beach. We just tanned and went swimming and drink a lot of alcoholic drinks. We had a good time there! It was very crowded tho', since there were so many people from the cruise itself. All we saw was blue towels from the Royal Caribbean on the chairs. We went there with the cab for 25euros/each ride. You have to make sure the taxi comes back to get you, since there are no taxies outside waiting.
Seventh day we were on sea again. We had a relaxing day. And tried to be out of the sun since we tanned already and it kinda began to hurt a little bit. Haha. THIS TIME WE WOKE UP EARLY TO GO GET SOME CHAIRS with good location on the deck. In the evening we went to club again as usual for the farewell party.
Disembarking was really easy and fast. Your luggage is right there in the terminal building with a number on it.
There is a place called Boleros, and they play latin music so there's some dancing going on there. So we kinda went there after the dinners (9-11 seating) and stayed there till like 12 or something and then we go to the Dungeon Club every night, except the first night. It's kinda the only thing open that late on the ship.
The Dungeon Club is a cool place to meet the young crowd (18+). When you meet the other people on board, you kinda plan to meet up again at the pool during the day and then at the club at night. You will obviously see the same people everytime.
BE SURE NOT TO MISS THE SHOW AT 'STUDIO B' called THE QUEST. It's an adult only show. An interactive game show/scavenger hunt. The audience is divided into teams, and then the teams are given quests to fulfill, like producing a certain object or getting someone from the team to do something specific. The quests get more and more outlandish and embarrassing, and I swear it was so funny!
***CROWD ON THE CRUISE***
It was a Eastern Mediterranean cruise starting in Italy, so there were so many Italians on board. There was also a large crowd of Spanish speaking countries (Spain, Colombia). Some other European countries Scotland, Norway. Not as many Americans as I thought. I'm from Aruba and speaks several languages (English, Dutch, Spanish and Papiamento). I found it very hard to communicate with the Italians since many of them don't speak English at all. I had to speak Spanish, and than they would get what I was saying (kind of). But the people on our cruise were very young I would say. Lots of people aged 20-30. This was one of the best things for my brother/sister and I. We made so many new friends from our age group on this cruise. But if you only speak English, be prepared to use sign language or something.
1 word. AMAZING!
We had two balcony rooms and they were great! I recommend getting a balcony. The bed I must say is kinda hard. It's not your 'Heavenly Bed' at the Marriott Hotel. We also had the 'sofa bed', but it's actually just a sofa. They literally just put 2 layers of sheets on it and it becomes a 'bed'. Extremely hard but yeah. I would imagine its not good for someone older with back pain or something.
We mostly ate at the Windjammers Cafe. Free and buffet style. They have very simple food there. From the hamburger with french fries to the grilled fish and some sushi. There's def something for everybody there. We didn't try out the Johnny Rockets. Overall the food was good. At the dinners there were some fantastic items on the menu, except 2 nights.
Thats it I guess. We all really loved this cruise and would definitely recommend it to anyone! Beautiful ports, amazing crowd onboard, great crew, good food, LOTS OF FUN! I'm looking forward to cruise again with Royal Caribbean!