Our longest previous cruise was a 13 night transatlantic only this time we went far better. Started in Miami and boarded the Navigator of the Seas(RCL) and went 14 days to the Canary Islands, Barcelona, Nice, Liverno and ending the first leg in Rome. Outstanding service and the most conscientious Head waiter we ever had. Ship has a cafe promenade--great for a quick snack and meeting point before retiring for the evening. Port stops excellent although we did not see Liverno due to the torrential downpour at the time. We enjoyed the ship. Entertainment keeps picking up and we rated the shows above average. Since our son is a dancer we felt the dancing was satisfactory--to good. Choreography does not use all the talents of the dancers and singers put their heart into it and were good. Worth seeing.
Second leg was a 12 night cruise and involved the ancient world visiting Pompeii, Athens, Rhodes, Ephesus,Egypt and Sicily before returning to Rome. Ephesus is a must see. Near the ruins of Ephesus we visited what is thought to be the last home of Mother Mary which was a most peaceful and relaxing place. Small, modest and spiritual. Visited St. John Basilica where tomb of John the Apostle rests and saw the site(nothing left in some cases) of 4 of the ancients wonders of the World. Awesome! Then there was Egypt. Pyramids breathtaking. Alexandria and Cairo were the dirtiest cities ever visited with the rich keeping their money and the many poor with no hope and nothing to do. Dead animals left, polluted Nile cruise had 300 people quarantined on their return to the ship once sick and identified. That was not fun for them but RCL did an outstanding job of protecting the other cruisers.
Stay away from the Nile cruise as an option. Reported a dead horse in the Nile by those that took it.(I did not see it but they were definitely sick).
Stay in public areas in Turkey and Egypt as they see tourists as wealthy--but it is like that everywhere but you are safe as police in Egypt are everywhere as tourists are their life support. Government is a disaster keeping all the money and not paying people to clean up. Even our tour guide admitted as much.
Bit of a hassle in Turkey. Use reputable tour operators or RCL as you are safe with them. We booked Ramses tours in Turkey with excellent service except for one thing which turned everyone off.Stay in the main areas and use reputable tour operators or RCL as you are safe with them. We booked Ramses tours in Turkey with excellent service except for one thing which turned everyone off. The last stop is not scheduled but ends at a carpet factory where they show you beautiful silk rugs and don't want to let you go until you buy something. They offer you a drink hoping this convinces you to buy something.
Fortunately you may walk to the peer from there and the guide lost more than half of the tip from many of us with this neat little trick we were not expecting.
Great trip, amazing ports and a truly highlight vacation. We have travelled on this size ship and consider it a great size with many activities (full size basketball court which allows for soccer as well--many Europeans on board)to enjoy the transatlantic crossing). We will likely do another transatlantic in 2012.