• TRAVEL NOTICE: Learn more about COVID-19
  • Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • Cruise Tips
  • News
  • Deals

Riviera Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
688 reviews
81 Awards

Ancient Empire: June 1 to 16, 2015

Review for Riviera to the Eastern Mediterranean
User Avatar
6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Jun 2015

Before the cruise, I read some negative reviews of the quality going down after the NCL acquisition of Oceania. And the quality of their tours is not that always good.

In our case, thankfully, the crew in this cruise is the best out of our 3 experience. And the Oceania tour we took in Jerusalem + Bethlehem was fine.

Excellent wait staff at Polo Grill and Toscana.

Cabin Review

Port Reviews


Gythion cruise port to Sparta by bus

Once you exit the cruise terminal, keep on your right and walk along the shore.

Walk about 10-15 mins to a junction. Take the left street, which is Vasileos Georgiou.

Walk a little but more, and you will see a cafe with an Alpha bank next store.

The bus stop is right in front of the cafe.

Buy the bus ticket from the person who works in the cafe.

Ask the person to tell the driver to tell you when you get off.

The Sparta bus stop is right next to the archaeological museum.

Bus fare:

4.3 euro one way

Bus duration:

about 45 mins one way.

Return to Gyithon bus stop:

Just right across from where you get off.

There is a manned-ticket booth, and you can buy the return bus ticket there.

Archaeological museum:

A small museum, with some pottery, clay masks, stone tablets.

Entrance fee is 2 euro. Senior: 1 euro.


Olive oil museum:

Relatively near by

Entrance fee is 3 euro.

Free WC inside the museum

Rome (Civitavecchia)

Did not go anywhere at the cruise port.


Originally, the port was Port Said, but it was canceled a few days before embankment.

Limassol was chosen by the cruise line as replacement.

We went to Paphos on our own. Our experience follows:

From new cruise terminal to Paphos by public transportation (1 intercity bus ride + 1 local bus ride)

The intercity bus stop to Paphos is just right outside of the cruise terminal.

Bus fare:

7 euro, return

Bus duration:

About 1 hr and 15 mins one way.

Take the intercity bus all the way to the end.

Once you get off the intercity bus, walk to the local bus station which is just right next to intercity bus stop.

Take bus# 618 to the end of the line; fare is 1.5 euro, I think.

The Paphos is about 5 mins walk to your right after you get off the bus.


There are free WC inside the Paphos site.

There is a pay WC at the Paphos bus station, but there is a fee of 0.5 euro.


Port Alexandria was canceled by the cruise line a few days before the embankment, and Alanya Turkey was chosen by the cruise line as replacement.

Our experience at Alanya:

Alanya Cruise port to Alanya Castle by bus #4

Once you exit the cruise terminal, look to your right to see for a white minaret with a black top. If you do not see it, ask a local

person who works at the cruise terminal.

The minaret is near where the dolmus bus stop is.

The walk to the dolmus stop is about 15 mins.

We stopped along the way a few times to ask the locals where the dolmus stop is. They were all helpful. Thank you!

Once we met a group of school kids. Though not all of them know English, they were eager to help.


The dolmus bus is bus #4

Bus schedule:

It is usually once every 30 mins. BUT, in some cases, it is once per hour. There is no 10am bus coming from the castle back to the town center.

Bus fare:

2 lira

Possible to pay by credit card? I saw a card reader thing near the bus driver.

Where to sit in the bus for better views:

When going up to the castle, sit on the left of the bus.

When going down from the castle, sit on the right of the bus.

Crete (Heraklion)

We just walked around the town and went to the archaeological museum.

Malta (Valletta)

Went to St John Co-Cathedral and the Royal Palace on our own.

We took the 1 euro return lift from near the cruise port to Valletta.

St John Co-Cathedral is beautiful; wish we would be back.

Tunis (La Goulette)

Port was canceled by the cruise line


From Cagliari cruise terminal to Cagliari Cathedral by walking + taking the lift

Orignally, we planned to take bus #7 near Piazza Yenne to go near the cathedral Cagliari. But we took the lift behind Chiesa di Santa

Chiara instead.

We took the lift near Piazza Yenne, behind Chiesa di Santa Chiara. But after taking the lift, there is quite a bit of uphill walk that is not straight forward.

If you want to take the lift, consider the following as it is more straightforward:

Walk along Viale Regina Margherita uphill, ie away from the sea. And you will see a lift to your left

Take the lift. After exiting the lift, walk about 20 steps to the next lift.

Take the second lift.

The exit of the second lift is an viewing area. Exit that area to the street. Take a left. The cathedral is about 5 mins. You will walk pass the Royal Palace, which does not open on Monday and which is free. Inside the palace, there is a tourist information office. The cathedral is just 2 doors from the Royal Palace.

No free WC there.

One thing about taking the lift behind Chiesa di Santa Chiara:

The woman who works there speaks broken English. I thought she invited us into the church to listen to a choir singing. It turned out it was from the CD, and she wanted a donation from us! I wish we never enter that church!

2 Helpful Votes
previous reviewnext review

Find a Riviera Cruise from $1,399

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.