we booked the mariner to the eastern mediterranean,after getting a deal from royal caribbean. we got a decent rate on a suite so we booked it.
the cruise left from citiaveccia,which is about an hour train ride from rome. the train ride was decent but be prepared for a major schlep from the train tracks to the ship. the train station in citiaveccia involves a lot of walking up and down stairs with luggage,a major fault of the port.
after getting to the ship their was a short line to check in,a shorter line then if we had a regular cabin.
After etting on the ship our cabin wasnt ready for occupancy for an hour,something they didnt bother telling us until we found out the elevators wouldnt stop at our floor.
the cruise itself was very good. their were really no major hiccups that could be blamed on RCL except for one. Our concierge. he was useless. On a previous trip on norwegian in a suite our concierge was great always checking up on us and doing what she More
could to smooth our journey. Our concierge in RCL on teh other hand was lazy. the only time we saw him was if we went to the concierge lounge. Even things he was supposed to take care of (returning passports,arranging a back of the ship tour,etc) he either didnt do or only did so reluctantly.
over all I would take a RCL cruise again but I couldnt see paying the extra money for a suite if this is the type of service RCL provides for the extra money Less
Mariner of the Seas Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean
we did a tour of the acropolis with time to spend in the plaka. the acropolis was good but really that and the temple of zeus olympian were the only things worth seeing. the plaka was basically a tourst area filled with schlock
we did the day and a half istanbul tour. the biggest downside is we didnt have enough time to explore any particular place. we also had to spend time as a worthless "turkish rug shopping stop". I wish they ships would just get rid of these types of stops. all they do is waste our limited sightseeing time. we saw the blue mosque,aya sofia,grand bazaar,and egyptian spice market as well as having a ahort bosporus cruise and a nice turkish lunch
we did a tour of ephesus and the virgin mary house. the virgin mary house was a waste of time. ephesus however was fantastic. the ruins were great,we went from one one to the other,with plenty of time to look around and a very knowledgeable guide. after the tour we had an excellent turkish lunch. The biggest downside was the town of kusadasi. the storekeepers are very aggressive .
we took a tour of capri,sorrento and pompei. capri is an overpriced tourist trap. could easily be skipped. sorrento is a very nice small town. all we realy did was stop for lunch,had another useless shopping stop and explored a bit on our own. Pompeii is fantastic. we had a couple hours with a guide but I could have easily spent all day. id recommend a pompeii tour and skipping capri and sorrent
rhodes was great. we explored the town on our own. we walked all around the old town,and had a great lunch in a local taverna. rhodes is very conducive to just roaming around,no excursion is really needed