We chose this cruise just 2 weeks after returning from a land trip to France. We went online and instead of choosing a cruise for 2019, we chose this 29 Night Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Ft Lauderdale because our Princess agent found us a great, super low one-way air fare to take us from Orlando nonstop to Frankfurt then nonstop to Venice with only a 3 hour layover. After being booked for one month, Princess offered us an upscale to a mini suite from a balcony on this sold-out cruise, and we accepted.
Embarkation - We were the only ship for the cruise terminal, as November is low season in Venice. Very easy.
Cabin- 8009 was just gorgeous. We used both US and European outlets as we brought our adapters, there are 4 outlets at the huge desk/dresser. The lamps each have USB ports at the bedside. We took an 18 foot regular extension cord and definitely used it as we settled in to 4 weeks at sea. Our cabin was the most spacious, and is comparable to HAL's Oosterdam signature suite we stayed in Nov 2016. The cabins had been totally refurbished in 2017 and looked like new to us. The room was at least 15 feet wide at the balcony, so we had lots of room and seating to invite other guests to visit with us after dinner etc.
Gorgeous, spacious bedroom, closets and drawers, and under-bed storage.
The bathroom had 2 corner medicine cabinets with doors and glass shelving, very easy to organize both passengers' items. Big tub (which we wanted) and the plumbing was not confusing like we found on other ships. Steward came about 4 times a day whenever we weren't around and always had fresh towels for us.
Another drippy day, off and on, so we took the Hop On/Hop Off and found a lot of neat places to visit and go on the tours at the sites. We were there at the end of Nov so tourism was very light, mostly Greeks on vacation. We return here in 2019.
Rainy- My husband didn't want to use an umbrella today so I went with 2 other ladies into town, any easy walk as the rain quit as soon as we left the gangway. Walked around the port to the new town along the city wall, and walked into the walled city near the Grandmasters Palace. Visited there and it rained while we were inside. Most of the shops were closed but some opened just for our ship. Found a great deal on Greek linens in the main old town, and took pictures. The pharmacy was open and pharmacist spoke English well, and helped me with my needs. Nice townspeople.
No rain but cold and windy so we didn't book an excursion. Took the cable car and walked for about 2 hours. Shops near cable car were open. Anything else, needed a taxi or bus to go to wine shops, grocery stores, etc. Great pictures, great views, just our small ship in town.
Wonderful trip to Athens Archeological Museum and open air lunch in the Plaka.
Shared a taxi with 2 other passengers and drove to Taormina. What a beautiful hilltop town. The drive from Catania to Taormina is breathtaking with Mt. Etna overshadowing the route. The Med is so ideallic from the road.
We had 2 days in Naples. Fabulous town. Easy to walk around. Gelato is fabulous.
Suggest taking taxi or bus uphill from the ship, and walking back. You don't need to go more than 6 blocks up from Dante's Piazza.
Our 2nd visit. Saw Europa Point and used city bus transportation to also take us to cable car to Rock of Gibraltar and to see the monkeys. We'll take another ship excursion in 2019.
Because our ship was leaving Cadiz at 3:30 pm, we had only 5 hrs in Seville from 9am to 2 pm. Our bus arrived around 3:25 so we were guaranteed to be waited for.
For those who are in port a longer period of time, just make sure you get more than 5 hours to see Seville. There was so much to see that we didn't get lunch.
Largest oldest Gothic cathedral in world with tomb of C. Columbus.
Took a taxi to the other side of island and visited La Laguna and multiple other little towns until we ended up for lunch at a seaside resort town. Weather was gorgeous and warm.
Food and wine was great. Picked up big bottle of Spanish olive oil at local market.
Forget to mention, the last week of cruise including this port had Christmas markets!
Lots of local treats to buy.
Another rainy day was forecast and at times it poured but when it did we were safely in a shopping area. The old town is right where the tender drops off passengers. We thought it was a lovely place to visit so we are future booked to go here in 2019.
Rainy day forecasted so we walked into town instead of taking excursion.
Converted $25 into 180 Krona at money exchange booth on main street across from grocery store. Bought some chocolates, local Croatian wines and Maraska local walnut liquor for under 110 Krona. Later found out the walnut wine isn't readily available in US or other European countries and it tasted better than brandy with about 25% alcohol.