This was a family cruise with seasoned cruisers from 35 to 72. We had 4 cabins from an interior (tiny) to balcony (nice), and the nicest were the Panorama rooms (huge). Having priority boarding we literally walked right on the ship. Debarkation was equally as fast due to the fact that since you don't leave the EU there is no customs coming back. That being said other than the ports that was the highlight of the cruise.
The reason for my title is that the entire ship seemed deserted. We always stick to the smaller ships to avoid the crowds, but this was ridiculous. The cruise was sold out several weeks in advance but unless half the guests missed the ship they must have stayed in their cabins. There was never anybody on deck. No real deck parties. The most people that attended trivia was about 20. Bingo wasn't much better with maybe 40-50 for the biggest jackpot. The casino was even worse. The Blackjack tournament was cancelled due to only 3 entrants and the slot tournament only had 11 entrants. On past cruises the preliminary rounds take hours because so many people play. On the second night of the cruise at midnight there was only 5 total people in the entire casino. It didn't get much better.
The shows were mediocre at best. It was the last cruise for the singers and dancers and they seemed tired. The new Cirque type shows were being practiced everyday in the Atrium. I understand they need to practice if the Atrium is supposed to be the focal point of the ship, why is it blocked off all day long for practices? No comedians and only 1 fly in entertainer magician act. Skipped it, as these shows are always boring.
The worst part of this cruise was the food. After eating at Chop's the first night, which was fabulous, the rest of the food was horrible. The main dining room food was so bad and salt laden the head chef came to our table 2 nights in a row to apologize and try to make something better. This didn't happen either due to the fact that when you have low grade ingredients there is only so much you can do with it. Izumi was hit or miss with the Sushi and Hot rock Filet being very good, while the rice and dumplings were terrible. The buffet got worse throughout the week as they recycled meat and vegetables into other dishes. The burger bar which was present at every meal was awful, stale buns and what tasted like soy burgers.
The moral of the crew was terrible. Most were from Eastern Europe and were stone faced and had no personality what so ever. Casino dealers were seriously lacking in skill and needed to be retrained if in fact they were ever taught how the games were run. The exception was our room steward who was great and our server Leonard who overcame his brashness to be a great server.
The low of this cruise was that the ship had an engine fire on the 6th day forcing us to miss our last port of Argostoli. According to other passengers on deck 1 and 2 the fire was so bad that the bottom 2 decks were sent to muster and waited on lifeboats as a precaution. Being on higher decks we were not even woken up and notified of the potential danger. There were no announcements to prepare and we only learned of the danger after the fact. This was totally unacceptable. Imagine going to breakfast and seeing a life raft in the pool, that was our reality.
The ports were phenomenal. Athens is something to be seen. The one thing we learned is to not listen to the Royal Caribbean salespeople. There is plenty of transportation in all the ports, and the 12EU bus to get to Corfu town is a joke. Take a cab its cheaper and you will be much happier. Also, if you have a large group, we booked a 5hr private tour in Athens for 8 people. We had a private minibus for only 35EU a person. Much better than the 90EU Royal was charging to be jammed on a 60 or 80 passenger bus.
To sum it all up Royal Caribbean is at the bottom rung of cruises. This was our 4th and probably last cruise with them. From the demeanor of the crew to the nonchalant attitude of their passengers safety. Another thing, the sanitizer people need to go. They stand outside every dining area and try to force you to use sanitizer. These alcohol based sanitizers do nothing to kill most diseases including Norovirus. These people will follow you and try to force it on you. I am not a child and know how to properly wash my hands.
Very quiet and quaint, all the shops are tiny and there are literally alleyway after alleyway of them. You will find what you want or need it just takes some walking.
Skip the Royal Caribbean bus ride to town and take a cab, less hassle and cheaper.
Nice place to just walk around the walled city.
8 person private minibus tour 5 hours plus to all the sites and shopping. 35EU a person and not crammed on a huge bus paying 90EU for the same thing. Much better, always book independent they will get you back on time. Their reputation hinges on getting passengers back before the ship leaves.View All 390 Acropolis Reviews
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