We celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary and could not find a better cruise/cruise line. The ports were fabulous, and the perfect 10 weather (cloudless), added to the immense enjoyment that we experienced. Ship, food, crew, & dining room staff were top notch. The venues for nighttime enjoyment were plentiful and exciting and it goes with out saying that having the cruise director & his staff involved during the 2 at sea days was quite a bit of fun and very entertaining. We will definately cruise with RCI once again.
The only real negative was the price we had to pay to go from the ship to Venice on the 5th & 6th of Sept while we were in port. In order to see as much of Venice that we could, we left the ship at 1 pm on the 5th,and since there was NO transportation provided by RCI UNTIL 4:35 pm, we had to pay for a private water taxi, 26 Euros. That was not fair. Also,taking the 1st shuttle in to Venice on the 6th,(PROVIDED BY RCI) was much too high, $20 PP. & that transportation was, in our opinion, way out of line.
One suggestion we would make is that on the days that the tenders are in service, it would behoove one to get up early and get the FIRST tender ticket in to the port thereby maximizing ones time in the port.
Extremely comfortable bed, (tried to find a way to put the mattress into our suit cases), very cozy room, and quiet. Hardly felt the ocean, although the seas were pretty calm. The window was a good size & had a good view without straining to look
Closets were adequate, but could not store anything under the bed because that's where the crew put the quilt and some other bedding. We had to use the closets for our luggage but it worked out ok.
And, of course the bathroom shower was cramped and we didn't like the way the water 'didn't stay in the shower' The shower head assembly needs some redesigning.
Good port to see on your own. Gondolas are a must. Everything is within walking distance, so get there early in the morning to climb to the Bell tower and the other attractions.
Plenty to do on your own, Do the climb at the fortress to the church built in 1518 and continue to the very top if you 'dare' No tour really necessary.
Typical large city, however the Acropolis/Parthenon et al, is a definate 'do not miss'. We booked the tour with RCI & felt safer because of the turmoil going on with the Greek Economy. Great guides fro RCI
We booked a private tour, (curiotravel.com ephesus shuttle.com) from the internet which included visiting the best preserved city in the eastern Med, Ephesus. Excavation of the Terrace houses a must see. Dinner at a wonderful local restaurant in an old mountain town called Sirince. Excellent local cusine, wonderful way to savor the flavor of the Rural Turkish People. Plenty of time, no rushing and the guide went out of her way to accomodate us. 6 hours at a cost of $141.00, for two (2). Top Notch.
We did a self guided tour of Bodrum, it is a nice walking town. Very romantic, especially for 'Honeymooners. Took the 3 mile r/t walk to St Peter's castle, which houses one of the best underwater archeology museums in the world. Plenty of restaurants, good food, nothing like sitting, sipping a drink and looking out to the harbor at some of the most beautiful crafted sailing ships in the world.
Need to add a few more +++ for this port. Cameras a must for this most beautiful area. We were tendered at this port, but we booked a 12 noon tour thru RCI. Took the tour to the Santo winery, and to OIA (EE-AH) and then walked our way thru the maze of beautiful white & Blue homes on this hillside town overlooking the deep blue Aegean sea. There are two ways to return to the bottom of the hill, one is take the cable car or walk the 600 steps down to the bottom.
The biggest negative was the 1 to 1-1/2 hr queue to take the 3 minute cable car up & down. It was uncomfortable standing in the hot sun, and it impacted shopping time. So if you are in shape, walk the walk (25 min =/-) or stand in line early. The more ships in port the longer the lines. Of course you can always take the donkey ride up/down.!!!
If we had to do it again we would not take the tour. But, take the first tender in to give yourself more time.
Booked a tour thru RCI for 6:45 am. Bus at the pier to a boat for the Sacred Island of Delos, home to the god Apollo. Mykonos is the windiest Island of the 2, but has wonderful restuarants, (we ate at OPA) shops and an archealogical museum. In the square by the fountain, don't forget to pet the town mascot, Petros II, the largest white pelican we had ever seen. There is also a small church in the square where you can light a candle for a friend or loved one who might have a health issue.
Another Booked tour thru RCI into the old town of Split with a visit to the Diocletian Palace, listened to the Klapa Singers and visited the (Ivan) Mestrovic Gallery at the Museum where all his sculptures were on display. Lunch on the Cetila river in the village of Omis and back to the ship after a great day.