We chose this cruise because we had not been to several of the the port stops before. We were disappointed in the food. We live in Houston, dine out frequently, and expected the food to be better. My steak in the Polo was over cooked, not impressed at all. The Red Ginger was a real disappointment. Did not care for it at all. Much better Asian in Houston. We really liked Jacques and Toscana. As for the main dining room, it just wasn’t as good as we expected.
We stayed in a concierge level cabin. We were impressed with the room, bathroom and the cabin steward. Probably the best in our 20 cruises. Loved the linens, towels, toiletries and room layout.
We did not take the ships excursions. I thought they were really expensive. Our group of 4 hired a private guide in ports for the same per person price as the least expensive tour offered by the boat. We also heard several people say they were disappointed in the tours.
We loved every excursion but we arranged it ourselves.
The staff was excellent. The Gym was great. Did not use the spa. We only had one sea day. We bought the drink package and the bar service was very good.
Venice. We took the large water taxi to Piazza San Marco. Bought ticket for round trip right outside the cruise ship. Venice was very crowded. We walked around and took a gondola ride through canals and rode by the Rialto bridge. Back to ship. Watched as we sailed away from Venice listening to Andrea Bocelli. Dinner at Polo Restaurant.
- Dubrovnik, Croatia. Arrived at 1:30 pm. Found taxi driver outside the port who drove us around the outskirts of town and up the mountain for a panoramic view of Dubrovnik. Then to visit Fort Imperial which houses a museum of the Croatian war of Independence in and a short film about the war. I hope hunk it was 50 euros. Then he dropped us at the town of Dubrovnik where many scenes of Game of Thrones were filmed. Walked around town and took a taxi Back to the ship. Drinks in the piano bar and dinner in Grande dining room.
- Kotor, Montenegro. Met at the port by Nikolai with Mont Travelers at 8:30. He drove us for an overview of Boka Bay where our ship was docked and took a boat ride to see the Our Lady of the Rocks. Then we went to see the town of Perast which is on the water with beautiful sea views. We drove back to Kotor and visited a fish market to see all the different seafood from Kotor. Followed by a drive to view Jaz Beach and a walking tour of the old town of Budva. Drove back to Kotor for a walking tour. The tour was awesome. 280 euros for 4 people. Nikolai was fabulous and a very safe driver. Dinner in Grande dining room.
cruised around Italy
- Malta. Did a Small group tour Simply Malta with 12 people from the ship we arranged through cruise critic roll call. A drive to the south of the island of Malta to see the Blue Grotto. The grotto and neighboring system of sea caves are home to brilliant phosphorescent marine life. The boat ride showed us the incredible beauty of this natural wonder. It was wonderful. Then we traveled through the Girgenti valley and on to the west coast seeing the Dingli cliffs. We drove to Rabat for a walking tour of Rabat and the old town Mdina, once the capital of Malta until Valleta was built. Mdina was where scenes from season one of Game of Thrones was filmed. Back to Valletta, Malta. We got back on board and Dinner in Toscana - Italian.
- Sicily where we could see Mt Etna in distance. We got a taxi at the port to drive us to Taormina. I think it was 25 euros. Our driver told us it looked like fireworks coming out of it at night. We walked around town. Then we found a taxi driver in town named Vincenzo Franco (+39 338 850 1413) who drove us to scenic view points around the outskirts of Taormina and back to the ship. He was awesome and I would call him and arrange for him to drive me if I go again. Dinner in Grande dining room.
- Amalfi. Picked up at the port by for a full day tour of the Amalfi coast by Sorrento Top Driver, Di Coppola Antonino +39 3392207065. He drove us along the Amalfi Coast stopping for pictures and on to Positano. Parked while we shopped and walked around the town. Then drove us back to Amalfi and on to Ravello for lunch overlooking the sea. Back to ship. Really great day with Tonino. Dinner in Jacques - French.
-Rome. Picked up at the dock at by Enrico with Rome in limo. A full day of seeing the sights of Rome. First stop for coffee and pastries then to a hill with a great view overlooking Rome. Next a walk through Trastevere where we went into a church during a Sunday service. On to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Piazza Navona (where the Italian Air Force flew over leaving a trail of red, white and green smoke because it was a national holiday, saw the Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps, Pantheon. Enrico stopped to let us out, wait for us and drive to the next stop. Giving us lots of info as we went. Dropped us off at a small restaurant for great lunch. Toured the Catacombe Di San Callisto of and dropped us back at ship about 5. We had spent a few days in Rome on another trip so we didn’t plan on going to the Vatican. Seafood extravaganza in the Waves.
-Tuscany. Picked up at the port of Livorno by Alessandro Cammilli. www.alessandrocammilli.com Drove for about an hour to San Gimignano where we toured the town and had gelato and coffee at outside cafe. Drove to Castelllina in Chianti, Greve in Chianti and the Chianti countryside of Tuscany. Stopped for lunch in Lamole at a restaurant on an outdoor terrace on the top of a hill with wonderful views of wine country. We stopped by a WWII memorial and cemetery where 4400 American soldiers were buried. Then drove to see the leaning tower of Pisa and back to the ship about 5. Dinner in Toscana - Italian.
- Monte Carlo. Took a small train around town to see the sights. Then took the bus along the Mediterranean Sea to Nice and back by train to Monaco. This was the only thing we wish we had done differently. We would get off the bus at the stop BEFORE Nice it was too big and not very appealing. The town before nice looked beautiful and easy to navigate. Can’t remember the name. Dinner in Grande dining room.
-Toulon, France. Took a small train from the port around Toulon. Got off in town. Took the bus to Mt Faron and a cable car to the top of the mountain. Dinner in Red Ginger - Asian.
Stayed three nights in Barcelona.