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1,336 Royal Caribbean Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

After 16 cruises with Royal Caribbean in three and a half years (Diamond Members), I can say without a doubt that this is probably our last RCL cruise. Unfortunately, I can also honestly say they probably don't care and won't ... Read More
After 16 cruises with Royal Caribbean in three and a half years (Diamond Members), I can say without a doubt that this is probably our last RCL cruise. Unfortunately, I can also honestly say they probably don't care and won't notice. Our first cruise on the Jewel was marginal at best for the ship but great for the ports so when we saw this cruise to the Holy Land, we booked it. While on the Harmony a month before we left for Europe, we found a great deal in the "Next Cruise" office for a back to back on Jewel so we grabbed it. BIG MISTAKE!! The cruise director and her activities director are screeching, pompous people that care nothing about the guests but only their own "spot light". Since most activities are packed around a small Centrum so you can't walk through the ship without hearing those phonies screaming. The customer service desk was given a nick name of Dr. NO by another guest and I could see why. Our second balcony was tiny, the drapes were ripped, the little two seat love seat they wedge in there was torn and dirty, the closet door was broken and nailed twice and nailed a third time after we spoke with our Loyalty manager who was great. We asked for extra sheets and covered up the dirty love seat. It was an adjoining bedroom and they hammered a love seat in it so they could rent is as a cabin. The bartenders were great, the food staff was great, our cabin attendants were great but you could really tell the house keeping and hotel manager never walked through the cabins. Upper level management at RCL think only of $$$. The loyalty only flows from the guests to the company and not the other way. As I mentioned, we will probably not sail RCL again and they really don't care. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We selected this cruise for the itinerary, The Holy Land. The first sailing day we had stormy weather. Lots of queasy passengers, very hard to walk around and several activities cancelled or rescheduled. This is one of the challenges of ... Read More
We selected this cruise for the itinerary, The Holy Land. The first sailing day we had stormy weather. Lots of queasy passengers, very hard to walk around and several activities cancelled or rescheduled. This is one of the challenges of sailing and -- it happens. The crew did a great job of communicating and making us as comfortable as possible given the circumstances. Because of the weather, our Sicily stop was changed to Crete. Personally, we didn't mind because we had never visited Crete. Our Ashdod port was changed to Haifa so we had an overnight stay in Haifa. We agreed, better to be safe. Unfortunately, it was a religious holiday and everyplace we visited on the Jerusalem and Bethlehem shore excursion was very, very crowded. Compounded by the longer transit time (1.5 hours) from Haifa versus Ashdod, it was not the experience we had anticipated. Nonetheless, we were able to quickly see religious sites that had enormous emotional and sentimental value to us. The Jewel is a little older, but well maintained. I have sailed on the Jewel before so I knew what to expect in terms of ship size and layout. It does not have zip lines, surfing, multi-deck slides, carousels, and neighborhoods. The Jewel is a good, mid-sized ship with some of the older ship style charm. We were in cabin 9256, which has a standard size cabin, but a larger balcony. The extended balcony has a nice AFT and Port view. There are passenger cabins above and below. It is very private and quiet. It would be nice to have a staircase towards the aft. Our aft cabin was quite a walk; on the bright side, we got exercise just going/coming to/from the cabin. The food ranged from okay to good; the dining room staff was very pleasant. We had Anytime Dining and our average wait for a table for two was approximately five minutes. The seatig wait time was consistent with a land based restaurant. The entertainment in the centrum area was quite good. It was usually a crowded area. We are in our late 60s and sailing in November allowed us to avoid too many children and teenagers. The children that were sailing were very well behaved. Our fellow passengers were primarily multi-generational families and couples. The shore excursions were as described, so no surprises there. We pre-ordered the excursions we wanted and used the ship excursions for most of our ports. The two exceptions were that we booked the Hop On Hop Off bus in Rhodes (small port city) and Athens (we had been there before and just wanted to get an overview). Yes, there were less expensive excursions available from private vendors...but the notion of being left at a port frightens me. We quickly learned, strenuous meant strenuous and made one or two adjustments to our selections after our first full day excursion. When we changed excursions, I wished the Shore Excursions Desk onboard would honor the 10-20% discounts we received for pre-ordering. Also, Easy Ephesus could spend a few minutes at the ruins for pictures and a lot less time hearing a carpet sales pitch. We had a great time. My overall suggestion for this itinerary would be to take the earlier sailing (there were only two offered in 2019), the weather would probably be better and you may avoid religious holidays. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
As I've travelled on Carnival, Princess, Holland America and others, this is a comparison to these lines. This was a nightmare. Twelve days and nights of misery. The cabin was supposed to be a room for 3 adults but immediately ... Read More
As I've travelled on Carnival, Princess, Holland America and others, this is a comparison to these lines. This was a nightmare. Twelve days and nights of misery. The cabin was supposed to be a room for 3 adults but immediately found there were 2 twin beds and a love seat. Customer service said there was a drop-down bunk bed only, for which a disabled 70 year old had to climb into. No way to suddenly cancel at this point since already in Rome. If there'd been a full size couch, my roommate could have slept there. As it was he sat up the whole trip. The "Entertainment" was not entertaining and 3rd class, a juggler who couldn't juggle among other poor acts. The movies they played were not newly released plus they showed same movie 3 times rather than getting a variety. To rent a movie for the room, it was the same reruns they were showing at movie theater and cost $11.99! The gym was decent. The library was miniscule but at least I found enough to get me through the 3 days at sea. Their excursions could have been good but buses to the sites were barely staggered, so everyone arrived about the same time and caused people to be fighting for a turn at the minimal restrooms. Some tour busses did not bother to give but 1 bathroom break in 6 hrs causing a friend to accidently pee on herself. Then she was unable to get out to view the Western Wall and other sites because she smelled and was embarrassed. I'd also never seen the amount of people who got lost on their tours because guides did not give good information, or even hold up their "lollipops" so people could find them. One group lost 10 people. Food preparation and service in Tides was so slow it took 1 - 1 1/2 hrs to get a meal and quite often they brought the wrong order. Holland America has free lobster but Tides charge $29.99. Windjammer was not open decent hours like other cruise ships, the food pretty mediocre but at least one didn't wait forever to get the food. There was a good variety. Room service was not free here like other ships. They would bring you some grits and coffee and minimal objects for free though. Music was played at full blast all hours. Actually made the walls of my cabin vibrate. The beds in cabin had hard mattresses about 4 inches thick so you feel the metal underneath and the pillows were heavy, hard and lumpy. Ship was decorated in wall art that must have cost a few dollars each, just ugly and stupid. Only good thing on the ship was the infirmary, which treated me for an eye injury sustained in the tiny, tiny bathroom. They called twice to check up on me too. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise had good reviews but now I realize the reviews are from Royal Caribbean lifers. FYI if you have kids the ship attracts a majority of older people. There was only 1 main dining room aside from the buffet. I felt pressured to pay ... Read More
This cruise had good reviews but now I realize the reviews are from Royal Caribbean lifers. FYI if you have kids the ship attracts a majority of older people. There was only 1 main dining room aside from the buffet. I felt pressured to pay extra to eat at the specialty dining rooms because the salespeople were always standing at the entrance to the buffet. Cleaning was poor, I found false eyelashes on my bed when we checked in. They hide the vegetarian and Indian menus in the main dining room. You have to ask if there are any other menu options. Our server asked us to give them good reviews which made us uncomfortable. The chef and the cooks somehow made everything taste similar. On the bright side we didn't gain any weight. Our rooms smelled musty. The first night I could not sleep, there was a terrible noise possibly from the engine. The second night about 6 of us stood in the hallway talking about the noise. The ship sent someone to investigate and it got better. We were on level 3. Entertainment was good except for the jugglers which were silly and boring. Overall do not recommend. One of our excursions was cancelled and the staff at the excursions desk was very helpful. I also found the staff to be more into talking to each other than into helping us. The guys pushing the coffee cart kept power walking by us without a word. It took me 2 days to realise they had coffee and tea and I could ask them to stop by my table. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
As I much prefer the smaller ships, this was a perfect fit. The Brilliance is in good shape overall. We were in a Grand Suite. Our room was clean and in wonderful condition. Our cabin steward, Luis, was attentive to all and any of our ... Read More
As I much prefer the smaller ships, this was a perfect fit. The Brilliance is in good shape overall. We were in a Grand Suite. Our room was clean and in wonderful condition. Our cabin steward, Luis, was attentive to all and any of our needs. The concierge, Amit, was very helpful in all facets especially with getting off the ship quickly at the ports of call and disembarkation. As for the food. Having been on many RCCI cruises, I feel the quality of the food has slipped considerably. While the service in the main dining rooms is superb, the food is below standard. The Windjammer is same old same old. The rest of the crew was awesome. Good entertainment, happy staff overall. The ports of call were great, however too much in a short period of time. A bit exhausting if you have never been to Europe and want to see as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise for the Europe destinations. Rome was great to see when we first got there, a little crowded, but were told it's worse in the summer months. The cruise terminal is a long ride, but we had a private transfer which ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the Europe destinations. Rome was great to see when we first got there, a little crowded, but were told it's worse in the summer months. The cruise terminal is a long ride, but we had a private transfer which made it nice. The embarkation seemed like we were in a third world country. Pop up tents and metal guard rails in a parking lot, but it went pretty smooth compared to the looks. We always select a jr suite for the spacious room and this one didn't disappoint. The first night however we found that our stateroom, (1078) was directly below the wind jammer which they start preparing at 3:30am, (every morning like clock work) and the carts running back and forth wake me up. So much for paying more for a suite. The cruise ship is a smaller one, so not as many options for sea days and after shore excursions. It was nice, but you can tell it's older and there was a sewer smell on the 10th floor for the entire cruise. Our cabin was great and outside of the noise that started at 3:30am every morning we had no issues. All the staff were great, (as always) and we never needed for anything. The food was as expected in the wind jammer, just luke warm, but this has been our experiences for all cruises. We ate at Tides dinning room one night and it was great. Chops Grill, was not any good on day 2, Rib eye steak was rubbery, but medium well and lobster was mushy. You can tell this food was pre cooked, then heated up and not what we expected for additional paid dinning. Giovannis was great on day 6 where I had the filet and my Wife had a seafood dish. We did not do much of the entertainment or shows outside of the movies in the cinema and on the pool deck. This cruise had very few kids/families so there weren't a lot of kids running around the pool deck, mostly adults, which was great. All staff were courteous and nice and always looking to help out. Ports and shore excursions. We did all our own shore excursions with our travel agent. Mykonos, Athens and Santorini Greece were all fabulous and as expected with the views and scenes just like the post cards. Our excursion in Athens was canceled upon our arrival, so we did the hop on hop off and spent almost the entire day at the Acropolis which is awesome. Malta was not so good. We paid for the Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk tour, which come to find out is a fishing village and it's like a flea market that sells fish and souvenirs. They dropped us off for 1.5 hours and said to be back at the bus, then it started to rain. When we got to the Blue Grotto, it was closed, so all we could do was eat and get back on the bus. The stops in Sicilly, Naples and Rome were great and other than my Wife shopping and spending lot's of money, they were as advertised as well. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Pre-cruise: My wife and I had reserved a room at the Hotel San Giorgio in Civitavecchia, Italy. In addition, we had also purchased the hotel's Gold Package. The package included among other things, a shuttle service from Funcimo ... Read More
Pre-cruise: My wife and I had reserved a room at the Hotel San Giorgio in Civitavecchia, Italy. In addition, we had also purchased the hotel's Gold Package. The package included among other things, a shuttle service from Funcimo Airport, Rome and to the hotel. Unfortunately, the hotel shuttle from the airport was obviously overbooked, and we had to wait an extra four hours at the airport, beyond the previously agreed pickup time, for a new shuttle to arrive from the hotel. In the future, we would rather book hotel accommodation in Rome, and take a shuttle from the hotel to the cruise port in Civitavecchia, the day of departure. Embarkation: Went smoothly. The Ship: We found Jewel of the Seas too bee mostly well maintained. Stateroom info: We had booked a Veranda Stateroom aft. on deck eight. It was very comfortable, and with a large balcony. We were very satisfied with our always smiling stateroom attendant, A.S. Pradipta. Dining: We had the second seating on deck four in the MDR. Unfortunately, we were disappointed that the dinner menu had changed since our last cruise with Jewel of the Seas in April last year. The menu map had no longer a separate section for the previous, every day classic dining choices. We also thought that the selection of dishes were no longer as extensive and varied as before. We also missed that cold soups now were very rarely offered. But we were mostly pleased with the quality of the food we selected. We were very satisfied with the excellent and professional service we received on our table no. 216 from Waiter, Francis and Assistant Waiter, Sarah - both from the Philippines! They took really very good care of the two of us! We had all our breakfasts in the Windjammer, and lunches too, if we got back on time, after being ashore. Regarding breakfast, we were disappointed that they did not have ordinary ham among the cold cuts, but only a cheap variant. We also experienced several times they ran out of fruit yoghurt. Fortunately, we had never any problems finding an unoccupied table, even during “peak hours”. And we think the staff did a good job of clearing the tables. We were not satisfied with the Café Latte-Tudes on deck five. What a negative contrast to Celebrity’s excellent Café al Bacio! Café Latte-Tudes for instance use paper cups, not proper cups. There is insufficient seating, and we also missed a nice waiter service. Bars: The service in the bars were varying. We got the best service from the Pool Bar. Entertainment: We thought both the singer, Gary Williams, and the Tenors Unlimited, made good performances in the Theater. The Crown & Anchor Society: As Diamond Plus members we used the nice Concierge Lounge on deck 13 for the nightly Diamond Event. The lounge was never to crowed, and the bar service was very good. Shore excursions: We had only pre-booked one excursion with the ship, from Naples - “Sorrento on your own”. Unfortunately, we were a little disappointed with this excursion. Part of the bus ride went through tunnels, and we also thought the guide was talking too low. Itinerary – The six ports of call were all good. And we were particularly pleased when we arrived in Santorini, that it turned out that Jewel of the Seas was the only cruise ship that had anchored in Santorini that day. There was, therefore among other things, just a relatively short wait for the cable car back and forth to the city of Fira. Internet: It was sometimes slow. Disembarkation in Civitavecchia - smooth. Easy to find baggage. We bought a bus transfer to Funcimo Airport at Guest Services. For one hour's bus ride from the port, the transfer price was far too high-priced!! Overall – A very pleasant cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
If you want to pay a lot for a low-cost rip-off cruise in a dated ship and very few activities - this is the ship for you. Six 1 liter bottles of water for 39 USD?? come on. We were on a family vacation (4 families with young kids) and ... Read More
If you want to pay a lot for a low-cost rip-off cruise in a dated ship and very few activities - this is the ship for you. Six 1 liter bottles of water for 39 USD?? come on. We were on a family vacation (4 families with young kids) and booked a cruise via an agent (who was supposed to help find the right ship) on a home for the elderly cruise with cheap food, very little activities and dated design. If it was not a multi family trip I would have just disembarked with my family on the third day and fly back home. I would have never believed i am boarding a low cost rip-off cruise where if you want to have something eatable for dinner you must pay extra. We had several main complaints - Food - huge amount of low quality food, no proper salads, no health food, very very disappointing!! you have healthier food at McDonald's. Agent in Israel - not nice and not informative. would not help or give basic detail on the ship (like the type of electric sockets in the room, activities... we will definitely take the time to give them the worst review online once i am done with this survey to warn others). Up Sales - 6 bottles of water for 39 USD?? come on. we don't consume much sugar and do not drink fuzzy drinks, so only water which came at an insane cost. video arcade that charges 2 USD per game - no wonder it was empty the entire trip. The rooms were not clean - mainly under the beds, the railing of the balcony door, minibar in both rooms was not cooling. at that point we got tired of complaining. Pools - very small pools with one small pathetic water slide. no indoor kids pool for colder days. our neighborhood pool has more facilities and a private pool at home is bigger. Activities - no real activities for kids, no space for the kids to play next to the parents while the adults are having a break. in general, handling the kids on the cruise was a nightmare, we were lucky we brought our own games from home. Some good things - Service was very good especially from the dinner restaurant staff. the crew is well organised and managed. The experience with them was so bad, i prefer to spend my money somewhere else. SO SO VERY DISAPPOINTED!! Royal Caribbean may have got us tricked and got our money this time, but we will learn for the future and not trust this company again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Food was as expected from RCI and of high quality and variety. The ship, though older, is extremely comfortable, clean, and has amenities that are on par with a ship of her size. Staff was great--smiles all around and a sincere desire to ... Read More
Food was as expected from RCI and of high quality and variety. The ship, though older, is extremely comfortable, clean, and has amenities that are on par with a ship of her size. Staff was great--smiles all around and a sincere desire to be helpful and friendly. Itinerary was 7 night Greek islands, and Kotor, Montenegro out of Venice. We were scheduled to leave at 5pm, which was rescheduled to 9pm. Actual departure from Venice was just before 11pm. This was due to City restrictions on ship movement through the Giudecca Canal and a very busy port that day. Because of this, we cruised at full speed to the first two ports. Though it was a bit uncomfortable, I feel the crew of the ship did everything within their power to compensate for a situation beyond their control, including added time in the first port call, Kotor. RCI did right by me by spending the extra money to move her at full 22+ kts for 2 nights and extending the first port time as much as possible. I used a vendor through my travel agent for excursions, and I highly recommend them. You can see their offerings at shoreexcursionsgroup.com Their groups are smaller than the usual massive ship excursions, and I found the guides to be engaging, enthusiastic, very well-informed, and professional. Prices are very competitive, compared to the crazy-expensive RCI offerings for similar excursions. Check them out! I will definitely use them again. The night before we stayed at the Hilton Molino Stucky which is across the Giudecca Canal from the cruise port. The hotel is not in the central core of the city, but they offer shuttle boat service across the canal for a nominal fee. The hotel is a renovated pasta factory, so it's interesting in that respect, big, and up to the Hilton standard of comfort. There's a complimentary full hot breakfast buffet , which was far better than most of the free breakfasts I've encountered in Italian hotels.There are several food options within walking distance of the hotel, each one offering million dollar views across the canal. Retrospective pro tip-shell out the money for a water taxi from the airport. It's 130 Euros (up to 4 people) and money well spent for a 40 minute trip. We used the Alilaguna service (Blue line) for a very loooong 2 hour voyage to the hotel but it's inexpensive at 18 Euros, and it drops you at the front door of the hotel. The ACTV (aka city water bus) involves a bus ride to Venice then a walk to the water and it drops you about a 20 minute walk to the hotel involving navigating 2 bridges with your luggage. My opinion--this is not the time to save money! When it's time for the port transfer, it's 8 Euros to cross the canal on the Alilaguna Blue line, which stops at the front door of the hotel and drops you at the Marittima terminal. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I may not be a cruising connoisseur, this was my 4th, but i found it hard to complain about anything on this Greek Isle cruise out of Venice. Our traveling companions all agreed. The ship was late leaving Venice (6 ships were leaving ... Read More
I may not be a cruising connoisseur, this was my 4th, but i found it hard to complain about anything on this Greek Isle cruise out of Venice. Our traveling companions all agreed. The ship was late leaving Venice (6 ships were leaving that night), but I don't blame the cruise line for that. It did make our 1st stop (Kotor Montenegro) VERY short. I had read that Rhapsody was really needing a makeover due to it's age.We found everything furnished nicely & clean. The crew were all friendly & helpful. The food in the Windjammer & DR was very good.I really liked the size of this ship for older couples (65-69). There was a comedy/string quartet show that was very unique & entertaining & we also liked the magician! My sister commented on how she had forgotten that all crew members on the ship really just want all passengers to be happy & have fun! Lots of live music. Our Jr. suites were very spacious. Much larger than our hotel room in Venice! We had 8538 & 8540. Right past the elevators & through the atrium. Loved the location of our hotel in Venice - Hotel Arlecchino. Rooms were tiny, but quaint. The 5 euro breakfast was amazing! The return hotel - The AC Marriott was more modern, but way overpriced (in my opinion). This cruise definitely made me want to book another ASAP!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cruised the Greek Islands for the first time. Loved being on the Jewel as we had sailed the Panama Canal on her in Feb. Pleased to see some of the same crew and felt like family! Food was great, as usual. Wait staff friendly and ... Read More
Cruised the Greek Islands for the first time. Loved being on the Jewel as we had sailed the Panama Canal on her in Feb. Pleased to see some of the same crew and felt like family! Food was great, as usual. Wait staff friendly and attentive. Decided to stay on board in Naples as we had been off the ship everyday to that point! Loved seeing the ports but needed down time! Suggest you not try to do EVERYTHING at each port so you don;t wear yourself out. Did not do many of the shows as preferred to relax with a drink and music in the evening, but the juggler was amazing! If you fly in a day early, suggest you stay in the port city rather than Rome. Much quainter and pretty. If your first time to Rome, then, yes, see a few sites in Rome, but our night in Civitacecchia was amazing! Cabin gal was amazing and we loved Solarium be so available. Our favorite bar tender was there as well so an extra perk. We only did two shore excursions thru the ship and the last port, Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii tour was fantastic, but LONG. Be prepared to walk. The Ship may be older and ready for upfit but was very clean and was constantly being maintained and looked after. Our favorite ports were Crete and Rhodes. The Taste of Crete tour was very good. We did NOT like MyTime Dinning so changed for the third night to a shared table. They were very accomodating to do this. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Review: Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas 9 day Greek islands Sailed: Oct 2019 Here’s my thoughts. Just got off the boat ! Note: I’ve cruised many times on most lines. Both as a couple and as a family. This was a mid ... Read More
Review: Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas 9 day Greek islands Sailed: Oct 2019 Here’s my thoughts. Just got off the boat ! Note: I’ve cruised many times on most lines. Both as a couple and as a family. This was a mid aged couples honeymoon trip for us THE GOOD - itinerary ! Couldn’t beat the stops for the 9 night Greek islands. Trip was worth it for the ports and the ports are the #1 thing I booked based off of. ***So overall this boat is worth it because of its itinerary and I don’t know many other boats that had as good of an itinerary!! *** - schooner bar area is really nice. Classy. Where lots of people gather to mingle. Also where chopps is. Safari club. This was the nicest area of the ship IMO - chopps grill : was the nicest one I’ve been to on any RC ships. Intimate enough and very nicely decorated and the service was top-notch. Worth checking out even for one night. Recommend an earlier dinner time so that you can see the sunset because the view and windows are beautiful in chops Grill see if you can get a seat near them. - windjammer - some seating areas are really nicely decorated. - staff: no complaints Re any staff. Our waiter. Assistsnt waiter and steward were all amazing. Mohammed Arteum and Sugi - hot tubs: Although generally pretty full; was still able to get in one and they had several hot tubs which is better than most ships I’ve been on! - “the key”. Before boarding the ship I heard a lot of controversial information on if the key was worth it and my opinion is if you were going to fork out the money for the internet package anyhow then for the few extra dollars per day it’s worth it to get the key! Priority getting off the boat for Santorini was definitely worth it. Santorini was the only port where you really needed it and where they offered The key service. The key embarkation lunch by chops Grill (but not actually hosted in chops Grill) as well as the disembarkation breakfast was really nice. this was the first time I didn’t feel rushed off the boat. - steady boat: I felt the jewel was the most steady of a boat that I have been on not very much movement at all ! He stayed on deck 7 middle/ forward to ship. Inside state room. - weather: whoever said that October is the cold / low season for Greece is totally wrong! This was *the best* time of year to go!!! it was actually very comfortable in the mid to high 20s for touring and beaching. I would not want to do Greece in high season July or August with the hot weather and the double size crowds!! it was busy enough in October!!! - main dining room menu: no complaints here there was always lots of variety as well as some popular nightly favourites !! the spaghetti Bolognese. steak. Beef Short rib. cream of mushroom soup and the apple pie with ice cream where some of our favourites on-board. Once again the waiters were fantastic and always had what they knew we wanted in terms of drinks ready to go THE NOT SO GREAT - the entertainment was overall lame for my personal taste. Probably the most boring ship I’ve been on in terms of entertainment. (but that could be because it’s a European cruise with an older crowd?). Didn’t have the quality broadway style shows I personally prefer. I walked out of 3 shows after a few numbers Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise mainly due to the itinerary. The itinerary was great. The food was very good in the buffet and in the dining room. The boat itself is old and needs updating. ie; The frame on the mirror was falling off when my ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly due to the itinerary. The itinerary was great. The food was very good in the buffet and in the dining room. The boat itself is old and needs updating. ie; The frame on the mirror was falling off when my husband tried to open it the first time. The table on the balcony was old, had stains and was unsteady. The housekeeping was BAD! The first day we found a broken toenail on the carpet. The base of the table in our stateroom was never dusted and the dust was quite thick, same goes for the TV set. The toilet was never really cleaned properly as you could see the obvious. The housekeeper didn't converse much except toward the last couple of days near 'tipping time' All other services were good and entertainment was okay. The shore excursions were good except for the one on the Amalfi coast. The tour guide there 'M'; did not give us much information or instruction when getting off of the bus for Sorrento. She just dumped us at a site and said to meet her back in 30 minutes. There was a store there where they sold Limoncello products and we learned later that was the factory, so did not buy anything. When I asked her at the end of the tour why we didn't go to the factory she said that was the shop in Sorrento. She did not make many stops to take pictures along he way, so we feel we will need to do this again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I’m a frequent cruiser (widow-60s), most often with RCL in the Caribbean. This was a bucket-list & 1st European cruise to celebrate my retirement. I was joined by one of my kids. We spent 4 days in Rome first, which was useful to ... Read More
I’m a frequent cruiser (widow-60s), most often with RCL in the Caribbean. This was a bucket-list & 1st European cruise to celebrate my retirement. I was joined by one of my kids. We spent 4 days in Rome first, which was useful to adjust to the time difference. Ship: Service was fine, and ship was maintained well. Food: We really loved the Chef's Table, and our dinners at Giovanni's and Chops. We also had a Chops lunch on embarkation (note: The Key lunch was in the dining room not in Chops itself -- very few people were in the restaurant itself for lunh, and it was a nice way to kick off the cruise). Kid took advantage of coffee-card and enjoyed specialty coffees all week. The Mystery Theatre dinner show was lame, but we really enjoyed meeting our tablemates and the dinner. We ate breakfasts in the Windjammer, which were good. We tried both the Windjammer & MyTime dining (always seated quickly) for other dinners. RCL food has definitely gone downhill, but we enjoyed some very good and some not-so-good meals at both venues. There are two soda machines at the back of the Windjammer for use with the soda-card cups. One didn't work for a few days, but it did not appear that many people used them anyway. Entertainment: We skipped the shows (really -- a Celine Dion impersonator and a couple that makes shadow figures?). Maybe the shows were great, but after days of tours we were simply too tired to go. Lots of trivia and Karaoke, and some good music in the lounges and in atrium. The 2 Billiard tables were always in use. My Kid noted the basketball tournaments were canceled, but few people had showed up anyway. Ship condition: We thought the ship was in very good condition for its age. It had been a few years since I cruised on a small RCL ship, and it felt very cozy. I won $150 on two spins in the small casino (and stopped while I was ahead LOL), so I think the casino was fun. As someone else noted, the ship doesn't get washed down often and we observed dirty/salt-encrusted windows. Not surprising though, in view of the scarcity of water in many of the ports. Excursions: We took all RCL excursions, and only had 1 bad & 1 mediocre tour guide. Our guide for the bus tour of Naples only pointed out sites on the right side of the bus so people on the left side missed 90% of the things he pointed out. In Santorini, our guide for the Oia/Fia tou walked quickly before everyone was even off the bus and often talked to people who were immediately next to her. At one point she described the Santorini volcanos and said that the govenment could stop the above-ground volcano but not the one that was under the ocean. Okaaaaay. I didn't know that Greece is able to stop a volcano!!! By the end of the cruise, I had ended up skipping the excursions in Rhodes & Athens to stay on-board to rest due to strenuous walking tours the previous day (I did not ask for refunds). Santorini was a particular fitness-challenge whether passengers climbed down the 600+ steps to the port or waited in the sun for 1-1/2 hour for the cable car. Quite a few passengers stayed onboad the next day to recover. Overall, very satisfied - the fault was not RCL's, but my own for under-estimating how strenuous the trip would be. Passengers: A mix. Many retirees due to length & month of cruise, but there were also families incl. some young children. Primarily seemed to be Canadians & Americans, but we met a few other nationalities as well. Everyone was very friendly. Biggest take-away from this cruise is NOT about RCL, but the itinerary. I was totally clueless about the reality of the physical challenges of touring countries with so much history (and without America's ADA laws, which we take for granted). Descriptions of excursions disclosed fitness levels but I felt they underestimated how much walking would actually be necessary. I had bought a Fitbit, and routinely found I had walked 8,000-10,000 steps and climbed the equivalent of 10+ staircases on tours -- all in hot sun/80's temps over very uneven and hilly terrain. Tour guides seemed to race ahead. Archeological sites, picturesque villages built on the side of volcanos and historical buildings don't have elevators, benches to rest, etc. I found a folding cane to be useful as a walking stick. Despite the challenges, I'm thrilled that I went on this adventure and believe RCL made it a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise because the dates coincided with when we needed to be in florence for a wedding. The cruise ended on a sunday and the wedding was the following Wednesday so it was an easy way to kill 2 birds with one stone. We felt ... Read More
We choose this cruise because the dates coincided with when we needed to be in florence for a wedding. The cruise ended on a sunday and the wedding was the following Wednesday so it was an easy way to kill 2 birds with one stone. We felt it would be a Cliff note version of Italy with the cruise and then go to Florence for the wedding and more time to explore the Tuscan region. The service on the ship was good...both housekeeping and our waiters in the dining room were very good. However...i did not like that at the majority of the cruise, staff was always trying to upsell us to their other restaurants...a murder mystery tour etc. And I believe the food was much better with our last Royal Caribbean cruise...probably 10-12 years ago. The dining room food was just ok..) We booked one ship excursion to Monte carlo and the tour lady was very informative. However...one 4 some of the bus was late getting back to the bus (even after the tour guide preached and preached to be on time.). The tour lady kept waiting for them until finally one of our group asked her to quit penalizing the rest of us and to move on. which she reluctantly did. that was the only ship excursion we booked...the rest we booked through a private tour excursion company...way better for the price. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our 15th cruise on our 5th different cruise line (Celebrity, Carnival, NCL and Holland America). We’ve always liked Royal and went on this ship in February to the Caribbean and wanted to do a Mediterranean cruise. We flew ... Read More
This was our 15th cruise on our 5th different cruise line (Celebrity, Carnival, NCL and Holland America). We’ve always liked Royal and went on this ship in February to the Caribbean and wanted to do a Mediterranean cruise. We flew from Canada the week before the cruise and spent three days in Munich and then four days in Rome. Took the train to Civitivecchia the morning of the cruise and started walking to the pier with 8 other cruisers. When we couldn’t find out how to get there, we realized we had to get on a port shuttle bus to take us to the cruise shuttle buses to take us to the terminal Very confusing port with insufficient signage to tell people how to get to the ship. Embarkation – Once we got there, the embarkation was very quick and smooth. Food – the food was very good everywhere, especially in the Windjammer. We didn’t go to any specialty restaurants as I found the food in the buffet and the dining room was great and had lots of variety. Ship – the ship is really nice. I like the layout of the Radiance class and have been on Radiance, Brilliance and the Jewel. The adult solarium pool is very relaxing and the outdoor pool is nice too.. I got a coffee card and had a special coffee (latte, cappucino) almost every day. Ports – we liked all the ports but Malta and Santorini were our favourites. I hadn’t heard much about Valetta but it was beautiful, clean, picturesque. We did a Segway tour and it was a blast. Entertainment – we don’t usually go to the shows but I found the one or two that I went to were as good as any other ship. Summary – Overall, I found the cruise to be great in every way and the itinerary (especially Malta) was everything we hoped it would be! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary but were ultimately disappointed with the destinations as the experience was spoiled by ridiculous numbers of tourists, despite it being towards the end of the season. The cabins were fine although ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary but were ultimately disappointed with the destinations as the experience was spoiled by ridiculous numbers of tourists, despite it being towards the end of the season. The cabins were fine although the curtains were in dire need of replacing. In general the ship looked tired. The ship was generally very clean and our cabin was spotless thanks to our excellent steward. The food quality varied enormously, as did the service, even though we ate in the same dining room each evening. Occasionally, the food was very good but mostly it was mediocre and occasionally inedible. We did complain about the food on a couple of occasions. There were two formal evenings on the cruise and the information supplied by Royal Caribbean clearly stated that lounge suits or dinner jackets were required in the dining rooms, furthermore any passengers not appropriately dressed would not be able to there and would have to eat in the buffet. Unfortunately, on both formal nights there were numerous people inappropriately dressed in jeans, trainers and t-shirts. We did not take any organised shore excursions as the costs were extortionate. The entertainment was poor. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a must do cruise for us and been 4 years in the waiting! Why because of the itinerary all in one trip. Good parts, itinerary, cruise staff, food, drinks etc Bad parts, old ship, woeful musicians apart from the two ... Read More
This was a must do cruise for us and been 4 years in the waiting! Why because of the itinerary all in one trip. Good parts, itinerary, cruise staff, food, drinks etc Bad parts, old ship, woeful musicians apart from the two bands that stood out performing every day & night. The shows in theatre were woeful at best the two guest entertainers were excellent! The ship should getting ready for another refurbishment but I doubt it, with it being a small ship it’s quite easy to get around lifts told you deck 5 when in fact deck 9 but we soon got used to it. Food onboard was acceptable in both buffet and main restaurant with staff being excellent. With smoking in the casino that only left four bars open at night! Trying to get away from the guitar & violinist was an issue they kept going to the one good bar, without being rude they were probably the worst in our 15 cruises I never seen them acknowledge each other never mind speak obviously talented people but what they played was awful, perhaps it wasn’t what they liked to play. The cabin was clean but dated without the usual bill on your tv. To end of complaints our charges on visa didn’t tally with the paper bill. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
It is true that some areas of the ship are tired and that the Schooners bar is a little too small but other than that it is an excellent ship. The staff are truly wonderful. The entertainment staff are so talented and the whole experience ... Read More
It is true that some areas of the ship are tired and that the Schooners bar is a little too small but other than that it is an excellent ship. The staff are truly wonderful. The entertainment staff are so talented and the whole experience for us was very enjoyable. We were slightly disappointed in the service in the Chops Grille as it did not live up to the standard of the non pay dining areas. The food was excellent but felt that the waiter did not care about us as he was slow and did not even ask if we had enjoyed our meal (which we did). It did not spoil it for us though. We really loved being part of this cruise. We met wonderful people and enjoyed hearing about their lives. The shows were very good and the compère of the game shows was great. We look forward to our next RCI cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Mediterranean Cruise on Vision of the Seas September 2019 This is my review of our most recent cruise. It was our twenty- ninth cruise, and our first in Europe. We prefaced the Barcelona departure with two pre-cruise days in ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise on Vision of the Seas September 2019 This is my review of our most recent cruise. It was our twenty- ninth cruise, and our first in Europe. We prefaced the Barcelona departure with two pre-cruise days in London. Approximately half of our cruises have been on Royal Caribbean, however, we have cruised with Norwegian, Disney, Princess, Celebrity, and Carnival as well. This booking was made a year in advance, and all cruise amenities and/or add ons were prepaid prior to boarding. This is significant and worth noting. All European cruises that leave from a European port are subject to a 21% VAT Tax from the European Union. This means everything from drinks to souvenirs, to excursions and any packages such as Internet, Dining, or Beverage that are purchased onboard. So, to save, pre- buy these items prior to boarding. Our flight arrangements and transfers were all booked via the cruise line through their Choice Air connection. The rates were competitive and we were kept informed of all changes that occurred prior to departure. In reference to changes, there was one pre boarding change made to our itinerary. The port of Malta was changed to a stop in Crete instead. Also during the cruise, the port of Mykonos was cancelled due to high winds and a second day in Athens was substituted. Our eight- and one-half hour flight to London was on British Airways and was uneventful. Taking place in the middle of a British Airways pilot strike we were worried about this leg of the trip, but it went smoothly. Service was adequate, seats in Premium Economy were not particularly comfortable, and the food was mediocre. We stayed at the Heathrow Hilton T4 which is connected to Terminal Four by covered walkway. There is also an Underground Tube station at the terminal. The hotel was nice and food and service was very good. Taking the tube into London using our pre-purchased "Visitor Oyster" cards was easy, however, on both occasions that we used the tube to return to Heathrow from downtown London the cars were overcrowded to the point of absurdity. There are no words that adequately describe the amount of mass humanity that can jam into a London subway car. Very unpleasant, but unavoidable. We managed to see a surprising amount of the iconic London landmarks, and even took a Thames River cruise from Westminster to Greenwich during our one- and one-half days in London. The high point of our London visit was the tour of Buckingham Palace. We had been very lucky to obtain these hard to get tickets in the months prior to our departure. It was an amazing visit and the gardens were beautiful. In the course of our London visit we walked just under sixteen miles. Our flight from Heathrow to Barcelona to catch our ship departed at 6:15am and required that we take a taxi from Terminal Four to Terminal Three. It was arranged by the Hotel Concierge and went smoothly at a cost of Eighteen British Pounds. This flight was also on British Airways and went smoothly. The Barcelona Airport proved to be a miserable place, and getting through Customs took almost as long as the flight from London. A prime example of inefficiency this place has inadequate signage, rude people, and absolutely nothing to recommend it to anyone. The transfer from the airport to the cruise terminal was slow and not without minor issues, but was accomplished after a short wait. Due to the number of ships in port the Vision of the Seas had been relegated to an industrial dock far from the cruise terminal. The bus from the Airport took us to the terminal for check in which went quickly, and a second bus then took us to the ship for boarding. Again, not very efficient but it did get the job done. Upon boarding Vision of the Seas which we had sailed on previously we made our way to the Windjammer Buffet for lunch. Finding a seat was easy and the food was good. The food at the Windjammer proved to be very good during the entire cruise. Service in the Windjammer was very poor during the first couple of days, but did improve as the cruise went on. Our cabin, an inside stateroom on Deck 7 forward was ready by 1pm and we found it to be in good order and more than adequate. Our Cabin Steward, Alexander provided exemplary service during this twelve-day cruise. One caveat, our cabin 7513 was directly over the Theater where live performances take place and from time to time could be a bit noisy. The ship does show some age, but for the most part it seems in good condition with ample seating in and around the Atrium. The cleaning of tables around the seating areas was for the most part non-existent. Very poor job of housekeeping in this area. As far as the running of the ship, it did seem that it was being operated efficiently. It arrives and departs on time, and the Captain keeps passengers well informed. The ship also seems to ride very well, and is for the most part very comfortable. Entertainment in the Atrium was pretty standard with small combos, and piano players making regular appearances. We did not sample the main theater, or the main dining room on this trip. We ate exclusively at the Windjammer and were never disappointed. It seemed that the main dining room was not attracting as many people as in the past, and the Casino also rarely seemed crowded, although we didn't really check it out during prime hours. The shops were the usual basic Royal Caribbean fare, and the Photo Gallery still prints pictures bucking the recent trend of going all digital. Our first stop was Cannes, France. Cannes is a tender port, so you must take a tender boat to and from the ship. We did not have a shore excursion and simply went ashore and walked along the waterfront and among the shops and street side restaurants. It is a very pretty little place, and did not seem too difficult o get around. Of course, we had to buy the usual souvenirs that tourists love so much. We stayed ashore long enough to get a feel for the place and appreciate its beauty. Crowds were not bad, and overall it was a pleasant experience. Our second stop was Livorno, Italy which is the port nearest to Florence and Pisa. We had an excursion to Florence that include the Piazza Santa Croce dominated by the Basilica of Santa Croce which is the burial site of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo among others. We also visited the Galleria dell'Accademia to see the renown statue of David by Michelangelo. We also saw the Duomo, and many other historic sites as we walked through Florence. This was a walking tour, and it included lunch. Overall a beautiful place and a worthwhile visit. Be aware, this tour required that we walk over five miles over uneven and often slippery cobblestones and roadways. Also be aware that like all popular locations the crowds will be ever present, and often daunting. A sea of humanity all jostling for position and trying to keep up with and in sight of their tour guides. When multiple ships are in port the crowds number in the multiple thousands. One member of our tour became confused about our time of departure and missed our return bus. Fortunately, she was able to get help from shop owners who got a taxi which she took back to the port on her own. This error cost her two hundred Euros, and she just made it back to the ship in the nick of time. Beware. Our next port was Civitavecchia, Italy which is the port town serving Rome. Our excursion to Rome included visits to the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Vatican. The Colosseum is amazing and awe inspiring, however, it is also crowded beyond belief. Ours was a special small group tour and we got to go inside and up to the second level for good viewing, but there like so many of these places the overwhelming amount of people make enjoying the sites problematic. Walking to the Trevi Fountain was a beautiful walk with many photo opportunities along the way. But again, at the fountain it is almost impossible to get to the site because of the crowds. We had a very good Pizza near the Fountain and then headed to the Vatican. The Vatican is always crowded. We went through the Vatican Museum, The Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peters Basilica. All were beautiful, and all were packed with people. A member of our group got caught attempting to take a photo in the Sistine Chapel and our entire group was removed as a result. We had been warned. But overall the Vatican was well worth the visit and putting up with crowds and their antics. After these stops, we had two sea days to rest. Believe me they were welcomed. The ship being a bit smaller than many did not seem overcrowded and moving around was very easy. Our next stop was the Port of Piraeus, Greece. This is the port that serves Athens. We booked two excursions, one for each of our two days at this port. On our first day we went to the Acropolis and Cape Sounion. The Acropolis is absolutely unbelievable. It is well worth the walk and climb to see. However, be aware that the walk and the climb are both significant. If you have any mobility issues or breathing issues, do not attempt it. The crowds here were among the worst of the trip. Old stairs with no handrails, uneven stone walkways, and slippery marble all must be contended with. It is, however, worth the effort if you can make it. After a provided lunch buffet at Hotel InterContinental Athenaeum which was very good, we made our way down the coast to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon. Beautiful place, with high winds, slippery walkways and a vertical climb. Our second day in Athens found us on a basic downtown sightseeing excursion that included an extended shopping time in the Plaka Shopping District in old Athens below the Acropolis opposite Hadrian's Arch. The shopping was good and the area is picturesque and lively. The next stop was Santorini, Greece. First, it is as beautiful as the pictures that we have all seen. The one main problem it has is accessibility. You must tender to the dock to catch your excursion and the only way back is down a 600-stair stairway shared with Donkeys or a hopelessly overcrowded cable car system. our excursion took us to the amazing ruins of Akrotiri where you can walk among an active archeological dig and see the civilization that has been recovered. We also toured the island and Oia we had lunch at a small pizzeria overlooking the caldera that forms Santorini's bay. It was just a breathtaking setting and pretty good pizza to boot. The last stop was the capital of Fira. Catching the cable car back down to the dockside was a nightmare. You stand in line in the sun for one to one and one half hours to reach the ticket window. The line moves painfully slow and snakes through a shopping area. As you near the stairs into the cable car house people sneak out of the shops and begin to cut the line. This happens continually and everyone is aware and grumbling but no one does anything about it. This can and does lead to unpleasant encounters between those who dutifully stood in line and those interlopers who think nothing of cheating their fellow passengers. Later this was the number one complaint made by passengers on our ship about their visit to Santorini. Our last stop was the Greek island of Crete. There is not a lot to see, but it is a very pretty place with an interesting history. The story of the Battle of Crete during WWII alone is worth noting. We saw the remains of an Ancient Roman wall and an Ottoman fortress. Crete also is home to the only deep-water Mediterranean port used by the U.S. Navy. A pleasant stop, and a pleasant place. Our next two sea days brought us back to Barcelona. Disembarkation was smooth with only a slight problem in finding the correct transfer bus to that terrible Barcelona Airport. It seems that in Spain when Person A directs you somewhere, then Person B at that location will not have the slightest idea as to why you were sent there. Our flight home was with Delta Airlines and went smoothly and without incident. A few items of note. First, money. We did bring small amounts of British Pounds, and European Euros, and we did use them with no problem. However, our credit cards with chips were used without any trouble as well. We were never asked for a Pin#. We simply used the card and then were required to sign, hence the term, "chip and sign." Second, restrooms in Europe are another story. They are not plentiful. They often charge you to use them so always have some Euro coins handy for the attendant, and they are often not clean, or have no toilet seat. Some see this as "old world charm”. I don't. Third, if you are used to having ice in your beverage don't go to Europe. Again, "old world charm." Fourth, crowds. As I have pointed out in many parts of this review crowds in Europe are ever present, unyielding, often rude, and always overwhelming. Fifth, theft. You will be warned about pick-pockets everywhere you go in Europe. Take these warnings seriously. A fellow cruise passenger had her wallet lifted from a zippered compartment in her backpack while waiting in that Santorini cable car line, and she never felt a thing. Take precautions, and consider how you carry your valuables. And finally, sixth, filth. European cities are often dirty and smelly with garbage piled along the street and graffiti covering literally every surface in sight. One gets the impression that if you stand too long in one spot you run the risk of being "tagged" by some young Michelangelo "wanna be". In conclusion I am glad we made this trip and what we saw was absolutely worth the effort, but I don't need to see it again anytime soon. Also be aware that according to my wife's Fit bit we walked 65 miles during this trip. Be prepared. If you are interested, we did VLOG this trip. You may find our videos on YouTube. Simply search for our YouTube site, "Cruise Views and other Stuff." Please subscribe if you like the videos. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I choose this ship for the itinerary, goal was to see the Greek Islands without many sea days. I had read some poor reviews but we have to disagree with them! The ship more than met our expectations. We loved the size of the ship, it never ... Read More
I choose this ship for the itinerary, goal was to see the Greek Islands without many sea days. I had read some poor reviews but we have to disagree with them! The ship more than met our expectations. We loved the size of the ship, it never felt overly crowded. We felt it was in fine shape and noticed staff always working on maintaining it. The crew were friendly and did their best to make our time great. We never had to wait for a table for anytime dining, which was much appreciated after long port days, don't know if we just timed it right though but never saw a long line. I really can't comment on shore excursions offered by the cruise line as we just did our own thing. For us onboard entertainment is not very important either, we mainly use the ship as a way to get from point A to point B but do enjoy the perks. We did go to a couple of production shows and found them to be well done with talented singers and dancers, quality costumes, sets and content. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on 11 cruises with 6 of them being Royal Caribbean. I had read reviews about the ship being worn. I didn't see it that way. We traveled in September which means there were hardly any young children. This may be why we ... Read More
We have been on 11 cruises with 6 of them being Royal Caribbean. I had read reviews about the ship being worn. I didn't see it that way. We traveled in September which means there were hardly any young children. This may be why we did not have trouble obtaining tables or pool chairs. Our party of 5 had a table for 12 in the dining room all to ourselves. Still for some events you don't want to arrive late to get a good seat. The cabin was the standard cabin. They are all the same. I personally really liked all the food. On previous cruises I felt that the food all had the taste of curry. I was very happy with the assortment at the buffet and the fact that they had Greek food since we were traveling to Greece. I also enjoyed the food in the Dining room. Food is a personal taste so not everyone in our party thought it was as wonderful as I did. The service was good as it always is. I was also happy with the entertainment staff. One thing that impressed me was the variety of professional musicians. Really added class and fun to the ship. We enjoyed the shows and games. For those of you who have kids and haven't sailed with Royal before - if you take your kids to "The Quest" game, they may get an education that you were not prepared to give. As for the ports, one of the nice things about this cruise is that you really don't need to pay a bundle booking excursions. Kotor Montenegro is a walled town right across the street from the port. Take a walk and see everyone's cats, but don't bother with the cat museum. I love cats but this was just a bunch of creepy pictures. Corfu requires a taxi but it is easy to get a taxi at the port and they are only $10 euro's for the ride each way no matter how many people. We had 4 people. It's another walled city but nice to walk around. I also liked that they sold Greek items made in Greece live olive wood cutting boards and soaps made with olive oil. We would have taken a taxi or excursion to the beach. However the water in September is not warm enough for me. I was also told by the staff that the beaches do not compare to the Caribbean and when I looked at the beach from Google Earth it didn't look that nice. The ship excursion was priced reasonable however if it rained you just lost your money. If it was summer I probably would try the beach. Pireus Athens is where you absolutely want a taxi - and whatever you do, do NOT take one of the awful hop-on-hop-off buses. We made that mistake. There is no hopping, only waiting on lines in the hot sun and not seeing hardly anything because the buses do NOT run every 15 minutes as promised. One group paid a taxi driver 20 Euro's each and he took them to all the sites and waited as they visited each. We only got to see 2 and left the second one early so that we could get back to the ship in time. Mind you we had 8 hours in port. But all the time is spent waiting for the buses and then riding the buses. Lot of traffic to in this big city. Mykonos in another nice city to walk around. The streets and buildings are unique. I bought a silver and opal ring for 22 Euro's which I found at the next port for only 14 so I don't know if I just made a hasty purchase or if this port may be pricier. But aside from that everything is in walking distance if you don't mind getting some exercise. There is a nice little museum for 4 Euro's a head in one direction and the windmill houses in another. Argostoli is famous for having sea turtles in near the port. . You will find some people in the port who will tell you to walk to the area where the turtles are protected. Truth is that they want you to rent a paddle boat in that area. Before we got that far we saw quite a few turtles. We didn't see any in the protected area. There is also a nice street which runs parallel to the water but a few blocks in where they have some nice shops. Again l was happy to see items from Greece. They have some nice silver jewelry with while or blue opals. Not sure where those are mined. Hopefully I didn't forget anything. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We just went on this ship in September 2019. I have sailed on many cruise ships and this one, in particular, showed its age and wear and tear. So many things not working and broken on the ship. My suggestion to Royal Carribean is to ... Read More
We just went on this ship in September 2019. I have sailed on many cruise ships and this one, in particular, showed its age and wear and tear. So many things not working and broken on the ship. My suggestion to Royal Carribean is to remodel this ship. It is so outdated. I can rant and rave but that's, not my purpose. The food in comparison to other cruises I have had with Royal Carribean was substandard at best. I hate to talk about bad food as the world starves with hunger. So I make comparisons with my other cruises with Royal Carribean and other cruise lines. It was so sub-standard we chose to eat off the ship as much as we could. The cabin vibrated at night and it shuddered and rattled. We were told the ship was sailing at 20 knots and it is an older ship. There newer ships do not provide that experience Our cruise was saved by the excellent service and the ship is really clean but not well maintained. The destinations were amazing. Royal Carribean, we have had 5 cruises with you before. Very disappointed and maybe its time to try a more upmarket cruise company that cares. Great job on the service. Terrible ship Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Service was impeccable. Food was mediocre - for lactose-intolerant passengers, you have little to no choice (esp. at Park Café - everything is either with butter, cream or cheese). You can ask for soy or almond milk at Windjammer. ... Read More
Service was impeccable. Food was mediocre - for lactose-intolerant passengers, you have little to no choice (esp. at Park Café - everything is either with butter, cream or cheese). You can ask for soy or almond milk at Windjammer. Otherwise you'll have to do with fruits or salads. Also, there is no Asian food - no fried noodles, no ramen, no dumplings, no soups, no sushi - which would have been a great dairy-free alternative. We raised this at dining without expecting anything, and the supervisor kindly went beyond and above to concoct seafood fried noodles the next day! The Indian food though was quite good - and the desserts as many mentioned here are delicious. TAKE CARE though - at Park Café, Edelweiss (breakfast) and Windjammer I came across a small hair in my plate, whether it was in pineapple, bacon, rice curry salad or Indian papadum. I did complain to the staff, all they could do is apologize...but that doesn't change things, pls do look in your plate before you put that food in your mouth ;) Itinerary was wonderful. Did not do the excursions, I did the research online and that was enough. I did order a water pack of 12 bottles to the cabin and that was well worth it - this saved time for when we got to port before our own excursions or just when we got thirsty in bed. Activity-wise I recommend you attend the threatre shows, trivias and poolside competitions - the instructors make it really fun! The climbing wall was good fun and has different level routes. Fitness centre had very old machines, but they still work (the crosstrainers just squeak a lot). The sports areas were nearly empty whenever I went. I'd have to say the music entertainment is targeted at quite a senior crowd, you had 50s, 60s disco parties, and a Beatles concert. I am from the 90s so some may find it a little difficult to relate - but it didn't stop me from dancing! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First time on Royal..last cruise was on Celebrity. Left from Venice and spent two nights prior at Hotel Principe which is on the Canal. Intend to return for a longer visit. Spent the first day into night just walking around and ... Read More
First time on Royal..last cruise was on Celebrity. Left from Venice and spent two nights prior at Hotel Principe which is on the Canal. Intend to return for a longer visit. Spent the first day into night just walking around and exploring the town. They say just to get lost in Venice and we came close. All the businesses we dealt with we found to have friendly staff and all spoke english. Streets can get very busy with pedestrian traffic. A very beautiful city. The second day we took a water bus to Murano and Burano, be warned Burano is about another 45min by water bus from Murano and only leaves about every hour from there to return to Venice. Visited the Doge Palace which is a must see. Had a great buffet breakfast at the hotel with beautiful view of canal on embarkation day then just walked over to waterbus for trip to pier. Stop is on other side of pier but easy walk over a bridge. Ship: Embarkation was smooth and staff were available to direct you or answer questions. We were able ro get into our room at 1pm. Cabin-we had an inside cabin but the room was just fine as we were only in it to sleep. Cabin Steward was very friendly and kept it clean. We were about 4 rooms down from Centrum entertainment area but room was quiet. Centrum-entertainment and games were very good.. Area was well used for cruise and we found ourselves there each night. Good variety of music on board and inhouse entertainers were very good. Juggler and ventriloquist were OK, Beatlemaniacs were a highlight..excellent. Overall happy with entertainment, although was not a fan of the ventriloquist. Food on board was good and I am OK without the late night buffet.. Appears all closed except a coffee station by 11pm except the solarium cafe. Did not like Windjammer buffet and felt on this ship it is poorly designed. Have to go into an area in the middle that is cramped in order to get main food..only ate there twice, hard to get a table. Would just stick with main dining room on next cruise .Disembarkation..had an issue in that was not given proper tag for luggage but easily fixed by customer service. Otherwise had no issues. Ports: Dubrovnik-old ciity very nice but wall to wall people..if return will take an excursion out of town. Kotor-Beautiful and strongly encourage you get up for the sale into port. The bay is incredible. Old city was very nice..We took an excursion" Baroque"-guide was excellent..town we visited was OK but church on island was very nice. Great desserts in old town at restaurant just inside gate. Santorini-great pics..did Oia and Fira with wine tasting, another great guide. Did not need to wait in line for cable cars or take stairs from Fira, took bus from new port. Again wall to wall people as expected 12000 tourists that day. Good shopping but great views. Katakolon-this was a highlight. Took excursion to Magna Grecia farm and Olympia and was by far our favorite excursion. Overall happy with all ports and ship was usually first in. Had to make a change to time to first port which we received an email about before boarding. No concerns. We were very satisfied and booked another cruise with RCI, with rest of our family, for other side of Meditteranean. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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