We have been to Europe 5 times on our own and on land tours but wanted to see the coastal towns. This cruise had the best itinerary of any of the major cruise lines. We are happy that we chose RCCL as the ship had a crew which was exceptional, the ship was very easy to get around with good signage and the organization of embarkation and shore excursions was impressive.
We knew that the food might not be quite up to par with another cruise line we have used, and it was not, but the service in the Main Dining Room with John Saby Fernandes was exceptional. The ice show and the Broadway show were enjoyable.
We had an excellent Room Steward, Pinto Anthony.
We boarded the ship about 30 minutes before the "recommended time" and went straight to the Anytime Dining Desk to confirm the times we had prebooked online. Erwina Janoras was the excellent My Time Dining host and she arranged for us to have a lovely sea window table for 2 every night. We also ate one night in Giovanni's and the steak was delicious. On the days we had early excursions, we left a card out to order continental breakfasts, and if you write down you have the earliest excursions, they will make sure you get it early.
We watched the internet frequently and were able to book the RCCL shore excursions at a 20 to 30% discount due to short sales they advertised on the internet. Also, if you book them early, you will get the old prices before they raise them for the following season. We were very happy we did that for Rome and Naples and La Spezia, as the guarantee you will get back on the ship is worth the piece of mind if you are a senior and having convenient transportation is an essential. Since we were in Italy 3 years ago, we knew the travel time between port and city would eat up much of the day and we were able to see much more on a tour than on our own. 9 people did get left behind in Rome, even though the captain was very patient.
If you do the 7 day Western Med tour, get to Barcelona several days early at least and know that you will be very tired but happy after the cruise, having seen many of the most iconic places in Europe!
Nicely laid out, small shower area. Excellent room steward, Pinto Anthony. Balcony was enjoyable. Comfortable bed.
Amalfi Coast and Pompeii by Land And Sea was an excellent choice to see the breathtaking coast between Sorrento and Amalfi by bus, have free time in Amalfi, then take a refreshing boat ride between Amalfi and Salerno. The bus then drove us to Pompeii, where we had a group lunch, and a guided tour of Pompeii. We had researched all the tour choices, and this one was the best-reviewed. With only one day in this amazing area, you could never see this much on your own. We felt the time in Pompeii was adequate, although a few in our group would have liked more time. In the afternoon, Pompeii was not as crowded, and we made it back onto the boat by 5:30.View All 284 Amalfi Coast Reviews
We had been in Rome 3 years before, and we knew the traffic to Rome from the port would take up valuable time, so we opted for the tour which would give us the most time in Rome. The Roma Express train takes boat passengers directly to the train station near the Civitavecchia port on a bus and disembarks at St. Peter's Station in Rome, giving 6 hours of free time in Rome. We knew that being in Rome would entail walking on cobblestone streets the entire day, so saving our energy by taking the train was a good solution, especially for mature travelers. We were able to leave Rome much later than those who opted to take the trains on their own.View All 171 Rome on Your Own Reviews
Coast of Cinque Terre and Portovenere was our favorite day of the cruise. Our excellent local guide, Patrizia, was an expert at getting us on and off the boat and bus in a timely manner and we were able to get prime seats on the top of the ferry boat which glided serenely past the 5 towns. We had free time at a restaurant she recommended in Monterosso and then we took a train to Levanto where we met our bus to return us to the ship. We liked this RCCL ininerary the most because La Spezia is closer to Cinque Terre and Portofino than Livorno and made the trip magical. We would never have been able to see as much on our own, as the small towns had huge crowds trying to get on the ferries, which were full.
Tiring but complete tours of Nice Flower Market, Monaco/Monte Carlo, and the walled town of Eze, France. The Nice visit was colorful and charming, Monaco was very posh and regal, and Eze was very strenuous for walking uphill but had a nice view. We could never have seen all 3 on our own, and it was better than just seeing 1 in depth.View All 12 Eze Walking Tour Reviews
Tiring but complete tours of Nice Flower Market, Monaco/Monte Carlo, and the walled town of Eze, France. The Nice visit was colorful and charming, Monaco was very posh and regal, and Eze was very strenuous for walking uphill but had a nice view. We could never have seen all 3 on our own, and it was better than seeing just 1 city in depth.View All 15 Monaco Walking Tour Reviews
Tiring but complete tours of Nice Flower Market, Monaco/Monte Carlo, and the walled town of Eze, France. The Nice visit was colorful and charming, Monaco was very posh and regal, and Eze was very strenuous for walking uphill but had a nice view. We could never have seen all 3 on our own, and it was better than seeing just 1 city in depth.View All 9 Montecarlo Walking Tour Reviews