This was an Adriatic & Greek Isles itinerary primarily sailing from Venice to Civitavecchia (for Rome). We always choose our cruises for the itinerary, coupled with the cruise line & price. We are in our early 60s & are not retired. We have sailed the Greek Isles portion of this cruise in 2010 on another cruiseline & wanted to return to those same ports, plus see some new ports in the Adriatic. A week prior to departure we received an upgrade notice from inside to balcony on the same Riviera deck across the hall & down a few cabins.
We wanted Princess to book our flights because we were under the impression that if anything went wrong, Princess would be responsible for correcting the situation. We were to leave JFK on Nov. 7 at 7:50 in the evening to arrive for embarkation in Venice early p.m. on Nov. 8 with a full 24 hours to see Venice before sailing. Unfortunately, a noreaster was headed up the east coast & our flight was cancelled after several postponements late in the night due to 4 inches of snow. We were told to contact Delta (our booking airline) to reschedule our flight (some courtesy phones provided). I did call Princess & they could not be of any help in rescheduling, only Delta. After multiple calls to Delta & our private insurance company, we were finally able to book around midnight the same flight #86 out of JFK the following night Nov. 8 (they said we got the last two seats & we slept in the airport since the weather didn't look good for trying to get to a hotel for the night) which was scheduled to arrive in Venice at 10:15 am on sailing day Nov. 9. Sailing was scheduled for 1300, so everything had to go like clockwork for us to make the ship prior to sailing. There were hundreds of other pax stranded by the snowstorm as well & arriving at various times into Venice. We were in touch with Princess while waiting for our flight on the 8th several times & though they would not GUARANTEE that Princess would hold the ship, that is in fact what happened I believe because of the number of pax delayed. We actually boarded after 1315 along with many others & the ship did not sail until after 1345. We went to our cabin & our luggage had already arrived there & we heard the call for the emergency drill. We were told upon embarkation there would be another special drill for late boarding pax later, so we unpacked a few things & took showers. Upon getting dressed, we noticed we were moving & proceeded topside for the most beautiful sailaway.
We attended our M&G for Cruise Critic @ 3 pm & began to meet pax we had conversed with on the roll call board. The Capt. & his staff were not able to attend, probably due to the late departure from Venice.
We took a private tour conducted by Niki (of Rick Steves' show). She was excellent (her reputation preceded her). Olympia is well worth seeing as an Antiquity site. Katakolon is just the port with a small shopping area.
We took a private tour as we had already seen Ephesus & Virgin Mary's house in 2010. The reason we took it again was because we had not been able to visit the Terrace Houses in Ephesus on our previous tour -- this was worth the entire cost of the tour. We also stopped (new to us) at St. John's Basilica & viewed the remaining column of the Temple of Artemis, had a local lunch & went to a carpet demonstration at a SCHOOL which meant no sales pitch & more of a demonstration of how the silk cocoons are processed for the silk, among other things.
Booked private tour with 8 other CC members -- excellent tour of the island beginning with jetfoil trip from Naples. Minibuses are used for transportation around the island due to winding narrow roads (and of course walking). Visited the "Mamma Mia Road", Capri, Anacapri & the Church of San Michele (painted tile floor which is not tredded upon) & the Gardens of Augustus. Also took funicular down to return to Marina Grande for return trip to Naples. Tide level did not allow anyone to visit the Blue Grotto. There also is a chair lift to high point on the island, but fog had shut down the lift for most of the day.