We have traveled by one other cruise when we book our recent trip with Oceania Cruise line for an October 16th to October 31st 2009 cruise to the Greek Isles, Italy and Turkey. Previously we had sailed with Cunard on the Queen Mary and Queen Victoria to the Western Mediterrian and Christmas Market in the Baltic Sea area. I was alittle concerned about booking with a smaller cruise line but was delighted with the ship size, ports of call, and on-shore excursions, and food.
We began our trip in Venice, Italy on October 16th having flown from Charlotte, NC to Atlanta, to Rome, to Venice. The Rome airport is a zoo but Delta got us there and we had to deal with "pushy" people who bust lines. Our trip into Venice was uneventful except for the first of 13 days of rain ! Venice is everything it is cracked up to be. It is beautiful and crowded. Considering that it was an October trip the Doge was still crammed with people. Our guide kept us away from the crowds and was very helpful in helping us purchase Venetian Masks from a shop on Ca' Del Sol.
We spent the next day just walking in Venice. If I were Marco Polo I would never have left Venice - silk road or not.
We left on our cruise that night and began to see the merits or Oceania and it's small ship concept. The room we had was small - 214 sq ft with a smaller bathroom but it was well kept and stocked with appropriate beverages. When you cruise with Oceania you have choices of eating areas. The main dinning room is large and noisy but well run with a staff of waiters and waitresses. The only drawback to the dinning room is being in the back of the ship it "rocks" and "rolls" when the sea is rough. The two other dining facilities - Polo and Toscana are good places to eat, but nothing exceptional. The outdoor area called Waves makes the best cheeseburgers and fries you could want. The Terrace Cafe is where we spent many nights. This service is where you can help yourselves to the same food as you would receive in the main dining room. The staff is very efficient. At night you sleep on the best mattresses ever designed. If I could have stuffed one into my luggage upon retuning home I would have.
Kotor. An absolutey amazing port. We were taken to a church built and
dedicated to the sailors who had returned from a trip each bringing a
rock to help build this island. You can't believe its beauty. The onlt
reason we got to see Kotor is because of the ships - Regatta - size.
Large ships cannot dock in this area, I assume. Don't miss seeing this