My husband and I have been on MANY Caribbean cruises together and individually, but this was our first Mediterranean cruise so we were extremely excited! We flew into Rome early in order to have a day there to explore before taking the 45-minute train ride to Civitavecchia to get on the boat. Getting on went smoothly minus being repeatedly asked to buy drink packages that we didn’t need.
The boat was kept clean apart from certain hallways that had an ever-present stench of sewage. Our room attendant was extremely friendly and did a GREAT job. The bed was comfy and the balcony offered a great view. We had a few questions about a couple of the ports and Emile at guest services was happy to answer our questions.
During our first dining experience was where it all started to go downhill. We were sat with a great couple that also spoke English- which was a relief after not being able to communicate with many others on the ship. During our conversation, we were advised to go to the guest services counter and tell them we would like to opt out of the daily service charge of 12 euros per person per day. Since we were already paying a 15% service charge on all drinks and planned on doing our own tipping as needed, we didn’t see the need to have a whopping 168 euros ($185.59) on top of that. So my first tip would be to OPT OUT OF THE SERVICE CHARGE. After this, we discovered that the restaurant will not serve you a glass of water. Instead, you have to buy a large bottle each time (2.55 euros each, I believe). We found this out the hard way as we were walking out of the restaurant just to be literally CHASED by our waiter wanting our card. After that, we decided to keep 2 bottles and just fill them up before dinner, which they allowed us to do. Side Note: We found out after the cruise that with our upgraded tickets we bought, we were actually supposed to get free water at meals…would’ve been nice to know before the cruise. So my second tip would be to refill your water and bring them to dinner if you’re like us and are on a budget.
We loved Rome. Civitavecchia is actually 45 minutes from the city though.
I am not sure why Palermo would be a destination for a cruise.
We booked a bike tour through a private company that was great.
A beautiful place. We walked 7 miles here! So much to see.
We got around by bus and the subway here and were able to see everything in a few hours time.