We are a young european couple that has cruised before: this was our 3rd cruise. We were on the Explorer and the Volendam before, both in the Caribbean. Because we have travelled extensively in Europe, we knew what to expect from the ports of call (a cheerful southern-european chaos...).
Let's start to say that 95% of the passagengers on this cruise must have had a real bargain. We paid € 499 per person for an inside cabin, and there were some on our table that paid as little as $ 200 per person. Considering what they fed us and the quality of the entertainment, Royal Caribbean could not have made a lot, if any, money on this cruise.
The ship was basically repositioning from Venice to Brazil, so there were a lot of crew changes. Many new crew members came on in Venice and Dubrovnik, they were not very experienced and you noticed on the first few days that they needed to get adjusted to each other and the ship. The first days a lot of them did not known where things were or brought the wrong wine to the table. Generally the service was fast and friendly and things vastly improved after a couple of days.
very quiet location, in the middle of the corridor, no noise causing issues nearby.
The port is on the other side of the hill from the old town. It takes you about half an hour to walk there. A local bus stops directly outside the port terminal, and the taxi stand outside the port building is cheaper than the taxi offered directly on the quay side. The coach offered by RCCL cost $5 per person, a taxi is the same price when with 2 and goes where you want. For the local bus you will need Kuna, Euro or Dollars are not accepted. On the way into town are banks with ATM machines. The old town is fairly small and has a few shops, don't expect large shopping streets. We were there on Sunday, so only a few tacky souvenir shops were open. If you want to learn more about Dubrovnik darkest hour, do not miss the small exhibition about the siege of Dubrovnik in the Yugoslav civil war. It left me in tears. The whole town is beautifully restored, although a bit too perfect to my liking. The city walls are fairly expensive to visit, we decided against it, and walked round instead. You should be able to cover all of the old town on foot in 3 hours at most. There are several cheap internet cafes.
You can walk from the port into town, this would take you approx 20 minutes. Corfu is a typical Greek town: noisy and perhaps a bit scruffy, but definitely worth visiting. The little streets are a delight. Because the island is a popular British tourist destination, most people speak reasonable English. Leather and clothes are cheap, so is good Greek food. We walked along the shoreline to Kanoni, the tip of the bay with a good view of the castle. There we had a traditional fish "Meze", a large plate with a selection of several dishes, in our case different types of fish.
There are several cheap Internet cafés in town.
This was Cagliari, which is not in the drop-down list!
In Cagliari, the town is at walking distance from the port. No need for any kind of motorized transportation! The port authorities took us to the boulevard on a free shuttle coach, as they did not want pedestrians walking through the port, but distance-wise this was absolutely not necessary. The boulevard with upmarket department store Rinascente is good for a nice stroll, but beware of pickpockets. The little streets of the old town are an absolute delight.
There are several cheap Internet cafés.
This was Malaga, which is not in the drop-down list!
Malaga is the gateway to the famous Costa del Sol with large sandy beaches. If beach is what you want, there is a modern train leaving from the main station every few minutes. The old town of Malaga is absolutely lovely and the old Moorish castle is worth a visit. On the main road out of the city is the huge department store El Corte Ingles, for those shoppers among you.
If you have a chance to go to Granada or Cordoba, DO! These tourist attractions are definitely among the most famous in Spain. The only problem is that because of crowd control, the Alhambra in Granada now issues tickets with time slots. So even if you get there early, you might not be able to buy a ticket for the time you want or even for the same day! That is why in this case a tour could be advisable. Also because it takes you all day to get there and back, and with an official tour, at least the ship will wait for you.
This was Cadiz, which is not in the drop-down list!
Cadiz is a drop dead gorgeous city with little streets, lots of history and beautiful affordable shops. You do not need a tour, there are several walking routes that are indicated by a coloured line drawn on the pavement. At every interesting point, there is a large sign in Spanish and English with a lot of background information. The town is compact, easy to walk and surrounded by the sea on 3 sides, which makes that you can never get lost as it is easy to keep your bearings.
The very new port terminal is located almost directly under the large bridge spanning the Tagus river. You can easily walk off the port over a small bridge. There is a bus/tram stop there, with easy connections into town. The famous tram 15 to Belem stops here too. Single tickets on bus or tram are € 1,40. In most metro stations you can buy a 24-hour pass for the public transport (and lifts and cable cars) that will set you back € 4,20 per person. A taxi into town should only set you back a few euros as well, depending where you are going. Do not miss tram 28, a historical tram that winds through the whole of the old town. Also take the famous lift that connects 2 parts of the city.