We (my sister and I) chose this cruise because of the itinerary, with each of us coming from a different continent this made a change to meet and cruise in the Med rather than the Caribbean. If we had known that embarking in Cyprus was an additional embarkation port we might have not chosen this. If we had known that Haifa was themain embarkation point we would definitely not have chosen this cruise.
The ship was ok, very similar to the Grandeur we sailed on last year, however the atmosphere onboard was unrecognisable. It ws horrible. It was bad enough for those of us who had paid to be there, but we felt so sorry for the crew who have to put up with this every week.
RC let us down as EVERYTHING was geared to those who boarded at Haifa. By far the majority, this would be understandable, if we, who boarded in Cyprus, had been aware that we would be treated as second class citizens. We were unable to book excursions or have access to the app etc. However, the worst problem was not realising that the whole cruise was geared towards a certain clientele.
For the first time, we had an inside cabin. It was as expected, although we did have to move the furniture as the bedside table was at one side so not accessible to both single beds. It is amazing how heavy that thing was! We went from a grand suite the last time to an inside this time but our expectations were managed. The service was just as good.
We organised our own private tour (15 people) with Guided Tours Israel because RC had not provided those embarking at Limassol with choices. Due to the disembarkation issues in Israel we persuaded RC to escort us off the boat as early as possible which was the only way we could do most of the tour. The tour was comprehensive and covered most of the Christian Gallilee sites.
Unfortunately we only got to see the old Harbour (our fault) but we managed to see a lot including the windmills and churches. Didn't make it to a beach :-( or Delos which would have been my preference. Still, what we saw was lovely.
Got a boat from where the tender brings you in (Old Port). Boat to Ammoudi Bay, bus up the caldera to Oia town, and bus back to Fira all included for 30euros. Gives you plenty of time in Oia. Back in Fira we went to Pelican Kipos Restaurant/winery which was lovely.
My favourite port. I have been there many times but it is always pleasant. Walk to the old town from the ship. Used a pre-downloaded walking tour. Had the best ever iced coffee at The Gate Taverna. Really interesting buildings and history, lovely friendly touristy shops (get over it you are a tourist) with good prices. 5 euros to go up Roloi clock tower for amazing views (includes a free drink at the cafe bar). Lovely service and lunch at Mama Sofia's. Then a quick trip to lovely Ella Beach. Walked back to the ship along the front taking in the Mandraki Harbour and windmills. Almost perfect day.