One of my Sister in-laws was getting married in Venice, so my Wife and I decided to make the most of our vacation and departed the day after the wedding for the Med. We stopped off at Dubrovnik, Ephesus, Santorini, Corfu, and back to Venice. The ship was very nice. The staff was excellent and the maitre d's for the main dining room were outstanding and funny. A lot of people seem to be givng them a hard time since this was the first cruise that they had gone to the "My Time" dining and they were still trying to work out the kinks. We just joked with them and tried to put them at ease. We are pretty laid back so if the dining room is a bit backed up, we just grab a drink. I mean your in the Med...how can you not be happy! Our room stewards, waiters, pool staff, etc were all excellent, including the bar staff. I even got to watch one of my F1 races on the TV at the pool bar on one of the at sea days! Life was grand. I mean having a drink in the middle of the Med watching F1.....I was in heaven. We had a balcony room on the Port Side and it was perfect! Plenty of storage room, comfy bed, and nice sitting area. I think the only complaing my wife had was the lighting when she was putting her makeup on, but that is typical with most ships and we make do. The only real complaint was the guy next door to us who smoked which made it hard to enjoy our balcony when we wanted too. The food was also very good and had plenty of options. The only complaint we had was with smoking. It made it hard to enjoy the piano bar and champagne bar sometimes with the way the air flowed and smoke was dragged in from the smoking areas. But besides that it was one of the best cruises we have gone.
We had a balcony room on the Port Side and it was perfect! Plenty of storage room, comfy bed, and nice sitting area. I think the only complaing my wife had was the lighting when she was putting her makeup on, but that is typical with most ships and we make do. The only real complaint was the guy next door to us who smoked which made it hard to enjoy our balcony when we wanted too.
Venice is wonderful and if you have never been there before either come in a few days early or stay a few days after the cruise. Wonderful food, cafes, sites, and filled with friendly people. Just a note since this city has been there forever, the streets are narrow and you do have to be agressive if you want to get anywhere.
Dubrovnik is a great example of a Medieval Walled City. We took the Kayak tour around the outside of the city and then walked around on our own and had some lunch. Try the local beer it is great!. Also walk the wall...the views are amazing! It was amazing to think that this city was almost destroyed due to the civil war a about 10 years ago. They did a great job of rebuilding it.
Ephesus was neat. I recommend hiring a tour guide before you get there, you will need it. Also if it is in the summer, take a hat, plenty of water, and sunscreen. You are in the open for a long time seeing the ruins, and the sun gets very hot. The ruins are a must see along with the House of the Virgin Mary, Temple or Artemis, and Cliff Homes. They homes were an extra cost, that helps the excavations. That is a must see!!! I was very impressed on how Turks have cared for the Mary's house. We did a private tour on this one, which I recommend. You can move faster through the crowds and see what you want. After that They dropped us off back in town and we walked through the Grand Bazaar and grabbed a bite to eat. My wife had some shrinp and fish kabobs, and I had...well I think one of everything. the food was amazing and I couldn't stop eating. There is an old Crusader Castle in the Port also that is an easy walk. I am a huge Military History buff, so I loved it. Not to mention there are two bars located right outside the main gate. Sitting on the steps of an old fortress and drinking turkish beer....life was grand!!!!
This was the jewel!!!!
Santorini was the highlight and main reason for this trip. Take the tram to the top and avoid the donkeys...we had a lot of people on our ship that got hurt using the donkeys. It is the same price, so play it safe, be comfortable, and save time. We hired a cab to take us to Oia to see the architecture (blue domes) and do some shopping. After that we grabbed another cab to Santo Wines for some tasting and great views. This place is amazing and would be perfect for a wedding! Once done there we hired another cab to take us back to Fira (port) for some lunch. I believe we ate at Fanari. I had a wonderful lamb dish and greek salad, and my wife had some kind of fish that was very tasty. the view is awesome and looks down on the harbour. You can also watch the poor people who decide to take the donkeys..... This is an amazing place with great people, sites, beauty, and wonderful food. I want to go back and just spend 2 weeks here!
COrfu was ok...not much to do here unless you take a bus to the countryside to see the olive oil plants and olive fields...that or shopping. We had already blown our cash in Santorini and in Murono buying glass. Like I said I am a huge military history buff and there are two old Fortresses (well one is called the old fort and the other is the new fort) here. So we took off and visited both and grabbed lunch at a very nice out door cafe looking on a large public park and the old fortress. I had another wonderful greek salad with the best gyro I have ever had. Some good greek beer, ouzo (yuck), and my wife had some more seafood. Once finished we headed back to the ship for some relaxation at the pool before everyone got back.