Our 35th Anniversary Cruise: Voyager of the Seas Cruise Review by focus

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Our 35th Anniversary Cruise

Sail Date: November 2009
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
My wife and I live in the north west of England. Our departure port was Barcelona and we decided to book just the cruise with Royal Caribbean and to arrange our air travel independently. This proved to be a very good idea as we arrived a day earlier in Barcelona and had pre-booked a hotel Room in the Hotel Aneta, just off Las Ramblas. The hotel was very basic but clean and even included a complimentary (basic) breakfast. Apart from the advantages of having more time to look round Barcelona, and being able to get to the ship nice and early we still managed to save around £100 on the Cruise/flight deal quoted by RC.

We had booked a guaranteed stateroom and to our delight were allocated cabin 6502 located at the front of the ship, underneath the bridge, facing forward and looking down over the front of the ship and out to sea.

November isn't the best time of year to cruise the Med; the weather could have been a great deal better. At times the sea was quite rough More which sadly meant our trip to Florence was cancelled as the captain said it was too dangerous to dock in the port of Livorno. Another cancellation was the ship's arrival in Marseille, this time the reason was that the Sirocco wind was due about the time we were scheduled to leave Marseille and the captain thought it would be too dangerous exiting the port. Why Marseille was listed as a port of call is a mystery to me especially as at this time of year the Sirocco wind is quite a common occurrence. Anyway instead of Marseille we docked in Toulon.

We were very grateful that the ship was so big, given the size of the seas we encountered especially on our last night. The ship is fantastic, as are most of RC's fleet, although older than Independence of the Seas our previous cruise ship, it is still very modern and clean. The food in the main dining room is very good but it must be said that it was nowhere near as fantastic as our first experience on the Empress of the Seas in the Caribbean some 2 years earlier.

On disembarking in Barcelona we booked our only RC excursion of the trip, to Montserrat. It was a very enjoyable trip and as a bonus they actually dropped our luggage and us at the airport after the trip

Would we book another Med Cruise in November? It would have to be at a bargain price as the weather very unpredictable at that time of year Less

Published 08/13/10
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Cabin review: F6502 Large Oceanview Stateroom

Cabin 6502 Front facing with a view which included the front of the ship. A good, clean and generously sized cabin

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Port and Shore Excursions

Ship did not dock at Marseille because of the weather forecast, but docked in Toulon instead which is 30 or 40 miles to the east. Toulon has the largest Naval base in the Med. We had wanted to see Marseille and therefore hadn’t pre-booked an excursion so thought what the heck lets catch the train. We did but unfortunately because of train times we only had about 20 minutes in Marseille, believe me there isn’t too much of interest in the immediate vicinity of the station in Marseille. Not the best idea with hindsight but still quite an experience.

A very busy town, be careful of pickpockets. We did our own thing, bought a travel pass from the newsagents for the bus, bought an all in ticket at the railway station for Pompeii and Sorrento. Pompeii was fantastic and not too busy (it was November after all). Our onward trip to Sorrento was spoiled somewhat by heavy rain.

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The ship anchors at Villefranche, situated between Nice and Monaco, Villefranche is a lovely port where we were shuttled from ship to shore in small boats Visited Nice and Monte Carlo by bus returning from Monte Carlo by train

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The port of Citivecchia is where the ship docks, its 40 minutes by train to San Pietro station in Rome for the Vatican and just over an hour to Rome Termini, the central station.

We bought a travel pass from the newspaper stand inside the railway station (ignore the queue outside the station, they are queuing for the station ticket office). The ticket, which cost just 9 euros, gives unlimited travel on trains and transport from Citivecchia to Rome and in Rome itself.

The weather was very cool with odd spots of rain every now and then.

When returning from Rome, if you want a seat on the train I would advise you travelling from Rome Termini station, the starting point for the train. Leave plenty of time, as the platform is a good 15 minutes walk from the station entrance.

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