We started off our trip with 2 day Pre-cruise stay in Venice. We stayed at the Plaza Bembo, which placed us walking distance to many shops, eateries and sites. We had to take the water taxi to the hotel.
PROS: Nice hotel with beautiful views and rooms. Breakfast buffet nice, but only pastries, cold meats/cheese and juice. Location is good for walking around and close to vaparetto station.
CONS: No one to help us with our luggage. We traveled with my Mom who is 75+ and she has a bit of trouble walking up stairs. This hotel is located on the third floor of a building with other businesses on the first and and second floor. The Lift is small and slow. It was either us or our bags at a time, as the Lift could hold both. So it took a while to get our luggage up top and then we had to get it to our rooms. No porters or help with luggage at all. Getting the luggage back down the stairs and to the Vap again 2 days later was just as tiring. Nice hotel, but I won't do this again.
The cruise itself was great and the ports of call wonderful.
What we really enjoyed was that this was a Member's Cruise and offered lots of great amenities for C & A members. We are Diamond Plus and received really nice logo gifts each day, free jewelry classes and they gave us a free excursion on our day in Ephesus. The only negative thing was that the Splendor of the Seas is old and in need of a dry dock. I do believe it is scheduled for one. Hopefully they will update it and add a few specialty restaurants.
Venice--Love the Gelato! We took the Vap to Burano and Murano. Prices for souvenirs we a lot less in Burano. It was such a nice city, not as crowded and overrun like Venice. We stopped for lunch at a nice family-owned restaurant, where the lasagna was the best I've ever eaten. Yummy!
Kotor--Nice, we walked around the Fort and shopped at the stores and boutiques.
Athens--Okay, we've been here a few times. Went took a cab and went shopping by the Acropolis. We even took time to have a nice Greek lunch...it was delicious.
Kusadasi--We toured the city of Ephesus and enjoyed a nice lunch at the Paradise Bay Resort. It was a nice place and the tour was great.
Bodrum--This was our first time in Bodrum, Turkey. Not much to do but walk around and shop. We didn't like the way they tried to deceive people with the currency exchange. They tried to say the Euro was same as the USD, which was not correct, therefore we didn't buy much there.
Santorini--We like this port. Its one of the nicest Greek lsle. Have to tender here, and ride up the cable car to the top.
Mykonos--We really wanted to take the ferry to Delos, but we didn't have enough time before the ship was leaving. Next time we will go straight to the ferry instead of walking around. The ship didn't stay in port long enough to do both.
Croatia--We didn't take any excursions...just walked right off the ship and walked around the market square and the pier area. Please note that they wont take Euro in Croatia, only their money...worth a lot less than the Euro. We used the local bank machine and it worked out fine.
Disembarkation was quick and uneventful. We had a early 10am flight out of Venice and were able to walk off the ship at 7:30am. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to make our flight. Overall, this was a wonderful Med Cruise with more ports than any cruise we have been on. Total of 8 ports of call in one cruise.