1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Eastern Mediterranean Cruises
  4. Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

1 Boston to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This was the 12 night repositioning cruise from Boston to Fort Lauderdale. Ports were Bermuda (two days), San Juan, St. Thomas, Aruba and Curacao. Embarkation: We had spent the night at the Hampton Inn in Revere because they have a park ... Read More
This was the 12 night repositioning cruise from Boston to Fort Lauderdale. Ports were Bermuda (two days), San Juan, St. Thomas, Aruba and Curacao. Embarkation: We had spent the night at the Hampton Inn in Revere because they have a park and fly package that includes up to two weeks of parking for $127. My husband ran into a TA in the lobby who had a group going on our cruise. They had arranged for a small bus to take them to the pier at 11am and they happened to have two extra seats because of a cancellation and they offered to let us ride with them. It took 5 minutes to get to the pier, two minutes to get new tags for our luggage (we had changed cabins 5 days before the cruise) and there were two people in front of us in the set sail pass line. We were ON THE SHIP by 11:15!! And every single person we had contact with, had a HUGE smile on their face. Ship: We had sailed only once before, last year on the Explorer. I was immediately taken with all the glass on this ship. I love how you can see the ocean from almost everywhere on the ship. We had a D1 cabin on the 9th deck. Luggage fit under the bed. Plenty of room for everything. We asked our steward for an eggcrate for the bed after the first night. If you like very firm mattresses, you'll be happy. Our steward was great. Our room was neat as a pin every day. We had towel animals many nights. He always called us by name when he saw us in the hall. My favorite area of the ship was the Centrum. I loved looking down on it from the 6th deck. It was a great place to people watch. We enjoyed the dance classes that took place there. We met our tablemates there before dinner every evening. Randy was my favorite bar server. It was always fun just to watch him interact with people. Meet N Mingle: We had an extremely active roll call thread for this cruise. We've been talking to each other for 14 months. There were 119 signed up for the Meet N Mingle. Someone had designed a lapel pin for us ($5 ea) and someone else had printed name tags for our meeting in the Schooner Bar at 3pm the day of sailing. We couldn't wait until the Meet N Mingle the next day to meet all those we'd been talking to for so long. The last day of the cruise I felt like the end of summer camp. It's just great to have ready made friends when you get on the ship. Food: We had room service for breakfast once. It was delivered on time and tasted just fine. I appreciate that they call before they deliver, so you have time to "get decent"! We ate most breakfasts and lunches in the Windjammer. Typical buffet fare. Always had some kind of carved meat. Stir frys are especially good. Our favorite place to sit was an area just in front of the outside area aft of the buffet. It has wicker-like furniture with really comfortable cushions. There was always a seat available there. I don't understand why people eat in an air conditioned room when you can eat right on the ocean. Isn't that what we paid for? We ate in the dining room for dinner every night except the one we went to Chops. We loved our waiter and asst. waiter so much, we never wanted to miss spending an evening with them. The food was good to great. There was always something on the menu that appealed to us. My favorite thing was the same as last year....warm chocolate cake. Oh, I can taste it now! We ate with a group of 17 from our roll call in Chops one evening. The staff really went all out to make us feel comfortable. Wonderful food. Wonderful service. Husband and I both had the filet. The real hit was the mud pie for dessert. My husband is still talking about it. Definitely worth $20pp. They did have a mystery dinner at Portofino one night, which we did not attend, but we heard was very fun. That was $50pp. Seaview Cafe was great. Enjoyed the onion rings and hot wings. Take note...when people on these boards have said that the nachos there were good, I assumed they meant "nachos". What they actually serve are tortilla chips with a side of guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Good, but not quite the same thing as nachos. Solarium Cafe was also very good. Their sandwiches looked good. We loved the crepes. Hot and good. They made a good mid-afternoon treat by the pool. Entertainment: We went to the theater most nights. Everything was good. The two production shows, West End to Broadway and City of Dreams, were GREAT! Really, really excellent. Beautiful costumes and sets and a great cast. We're still talking about those shows. Tribute to the Temptations was also one of our favorites. Cruise Staff: Karen Maybury is the Cruise Director. I had read so many negative things about her on Cruise Critic that I was prepared for the worst. I found her delightful. She interacted quite often with the passengers and hosted almost every show. I thought she did an especially good job announcing the horse races. Tracy, her assistant was great, as well as Felix from Cuba, who taught some of the dance lessons. He was very funny. Spa: They had many specials throughout the week. They did a tour on the day of boarding, which I did not attend. They did another one on the sea day after Bermuda and had a drawing for one $200 gift certificate and two $100 certificates. I won one of the $100 ones, which I put to good use. I had two massages and we took a couple's massage class. I found the slight movement of the ship to be a wonderful addition to the massage, as you feel like you are being rocked to sleep. My husband purchased the pass to the Thermal Suite. This was $15/day. On about day 5 of the cruise, they offered the Thermal Suite pass for $60 for the rest of the cruise. My husband purchased it then and used it at least twice a day. The Thermal Suite has heated lounge chairs in front of floor to ceiling windows overlooking the sea. It has two steam rooms and an aromatherapy room. What I think many people don't know, is that there is a steam room and a sauna in the spa locker room that are complimentary. Just go in and use them. I went in the steam room both times after my massage and it was heavenly. Fitness Center: There is plenty of fitness equipment. 7-9am seemed to be the busiest time and there was still an open treadmill whenever I wanted one. There are many free fitness classes. We went to stretch class every morning at 7:30. We "walked a mile" for shipshape dollars every morning and many afternoons. We pretended on this cruise that we were at a $500/day spa and took advantage of everything we could. Be aware that they are in the business of selling you things. There's lots of talk about "detoxifying" and they will offer you many supplements to help you detoxify. We figured the most detoxification would likely take place in your wallet! We thought the two gals who worked the fitness center to be very knowledgeable and helpful. Ports: We played golf at Port Royal in Bermuda on the 2nd day. On the 1st day, we got transportation passes and took the ferry to St. George. After poking around there for a couple of hours, we took a bus to Hamilton, then a bus back to the ship. Very easy to navigate there. Very busy roads with lots of traffic. I was glad I wasn't driving. We walked around San Juan. Went to the fort and took pics. Enjoyed watching people fly kites on the grounds of the fort. We did a daysail with Rumbaba in St. Thomas. This was, by far, the highlight of our trip. We did a 4x4 x-treme jeep tour in Aruba with ABC tours. It was fun. In Curacao, we just got a tour from the locals for $15pp. We loved the architecture there. T-shirts were the cheapest there of anyplace we went. Debarkation in Fort Lauderdale: Our flight was at 3pm. We ate breakfast in the dining room. We then went to wait with some friends in the library on deck 9. It overlooks the Centrum, so it was a fun place to sit. Our tags were called at 9:55. We exited the ship and found our bags within 5 minutes. We gave them to a porter and he had us through customs in two minutes. He put us in a cab and we were on our way to the airport. Now the airport...that's a different story! Thank goodness my husband travels a lot for work and we checked in at the first class line. The other lines were out the door! Very small busy, busy airport. Overall: This was an amazing cruise. This was the first time we had ever vacationed for 12 nts. We were converted! I really enjoyed having two sea days at the end of the cruise. Time to relax before packing! The only thing I found to complain about is the smoking setup on the ship. It seems like you have to walk through a smoking area to get to the nonsmoking areas many times. You have to walk through the smoking part of the Schooner Lounge to get to Chops and Portofino. Many of the activities were in the Safari Lounge and it was smoky. I wish they would rework this. I did get sick on the first sea day out of Boston. Though I had been taking Bonine for two days prior to the cruise and taking Ginger Caps, I still felt terrible. Luckily, someone from our roll call had Scop patches with her and gave me one. I cut it in half and put it on. Within two hours I felt better. Next year I might try sea bands. I had already booked this cruise for next year two months ago. I'm glad I did. Can't wait to do it again. Love that Jewel! Read Less
Sail Date November 2005

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click