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1,336 Royal Caribbean Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We had a wonderful cruise!!!!!! Let's me just begin by saying there was a group of 25 of us so not always easy getting 25 people together and agreeing on one thing! We did and all enjoyed ourselves! Embarkation was the easiest ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise!!!!!! Let's me just begin by saying there was a group of 25 of us so not always easy getting 25 people together and agreeing on one thing! We did and all enjoyed ourselves! Embarkation was the easiest time ever, we arrived and through security on the ship in like 15 minutes! It was GREAT!!!! We were not able to get into our cabins until 100pm so went and had some lunch sat outside and drank champagne and just marveled at where we were! Our rooms were ready right at 1pm so we went off to explore and find our room! We had an inside cabin on deck 8, it was roomy and always very clean! Off we went to the wine bar, had a class of, yes champagne and continued exploring, our luggage arrived around 5 so we went to unpack as our dinner was late seating at 9! That was late for everyone but we had excursions scheduled and made it nice for those days! Dinner in the MD was wonderful our group set at 3 tables, now on different nights we switched up where we were sitting within the 3 tables, seemed to confuse the wait staff but they rolled with it! They did seem rather slow bringing drinks and wine at the late seating, but food was good and we had a great time! We did break off from the MD twice ate at the windjammer one night, it was very good the second time we went to the Sushi restaurant and it was fantastic! I'm soooo bad at remembering servers names but it was all wonderful! Loved our excursions Santorini we wish we could have spent more time in Oui's but it was all beautiful! Turkey was awesome, I wouldn't bother going to Athens a second time but glad I have been once, Crete was fun and we shopped on our own and stopped and had a beer! The only reason I'm not giving 5 stars is because in Athens on a Royal Caribbean excursion one of our friends had their phone stolen at lunch, now that certainly isn't Royals fault but unfortunately when they returned to the ship and reported along with several other people that had things stolen our friends asked for 10 minutes of WiFi so they could shut down the phone, Royal refused they even asked a supervisor and would not help them, an employee offered them her sims card and said to use it! So she came to the rescue but seriously even if all the people that had things stolen asked for 10 minutes it wouldn't be that much! I felt most of the bar staff with exception of Schooner bar were not over friendly, I think they seemed to be working very short staffed, long waits for a cocktail! Disembarkation was soooo easy and quick!!!! We walked right off the ship! Back to Rome and more sightseeing! It was a GREAT trip! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Disclaimer:I am struggling with the choice between an overall score of two and three. Not sure if I ended up with the score best desvribing our overall impression. Good things: Destinations (including port of embarkation). The choice of ... Read More
Disclaimer:I am struggling with the choice between an overall score of two and three. Not sure if I ended up with the score best desvribing our overall impression. Good things: Destinations (including port of embarkation). The choice of ports, the total diversity of places to see was generally good. The ship was OK and generally clean and in good shape. We felt the security was good. The food was decent, and we had places to eat almost at any hour of the day. Things-not-that-good: For a 7 day cruise, two full transport days felt a bit too much, especially on a ship this crowded. Smart and not-so-emphatic passengers reserved double-up of sun beds and shadow places before breakfast, leaving us not-so-experienced and well behaved passengers with no places to stay. The entertainment was very "american", obviously not in our taste, and maybe it should have been more tuned to european style? After the cruise, we found that we had been overcharged on our credit card with over 500 USD. We have since tried to get in touch wit RCCL, without luck. They just ignor our questions of getting the billing details. The next step in this process is to file an official claim againts RCCL, and hope to have this sorted. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise for a family vacation with kids beginning at age 6 and adults up to 71 years old. This boat had something for everyone and was fantastic. We stayed in 6300, towards the back of the ship. We never felt any roll or ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a family vacation with kids beginning at age 6 and adults up to 71 years old. This boat had something for everyone and was fantastic. We stayed in 6300, towards the back of the ship. We never felt any roll or movement of the ship. Our cabin was big and the balcony had plenty of room. The ship's restaurants were all great. We ate at Izumi (both sushi and Japanese steak house), which was the best meal we had on the ship. Jamie's Italian was very good and the main restaurant never disappointed. The staff and crew were exceptional and knew our drinks and had them waiting for us when we arrived for dinner. Breakfast was fine at the buffet, but we often ate at Park Street cafe. I was a little disappointed in the in room dining options and time for delivery, however. KIds Club: I have one shy child and one outgoing personality. After two days, I asked them to try the kids club. Reluctantly the went, and it was the best decision we made. They loved the club, activities, games, contests and prizes. They asked to go every night after dinner and would stay until midnight with many new-found friends. Casino: I have been a Casino player all-over the world, but this Casino rates as one of the most disappointing I've ever been in. It sufficiently for variety, but payout is terrible. They have systematically taken away every player's edge (like multiple pass-line odds in craps), to make winning pure luck, but always weighted towards the house. Slot machine bonuses only paid the minimum amount (fifteen spins on a Wheel of Fortune all resulting in the lowest possible payout?!?! Mathematical impossibility!). This was the only area of the ship that really disappointed (besides allowing cigarette smoking but not cigar smoking). Also, they never had enough players for Texas Hold-em tournaments. The water shows were great and the bionic bar was a real draw (when it worked). The ship showed no signs of being incomplete and we would definitely go back on it when it arrives in the Carribean this Fall. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The cruise was disappointing in that it didn't satisfy the itinerary. Due to weather conditions (high winds), we could not dock in Mykonos. There must be a back-up plan in such instances, since this is the third time it has happened ... Read More
The cruise was disappointing in that it didn't satisfy the itinerary. Due to weather conditions (high winds), we could not dock in Mykonos. There must be a back-up plan in such instances, since this is the third time it has happened in the last 2 months according to the staff. The reason for taking this cruise was the port of calls in Santorini and Mykonos. Also we learned after the cruise that we will not get a refund on the Mykonos port charges. As far as the entertainment, this was a disappointment also. At the first show, a contortionist was the main act. After the show, Simona (the Cruise Director) talked to the crowd and explained that the planned entertainment, for the cruise, would be geared towards an international crowd, where language would not be a significant problem; no comedians, etc. Because of this statement, and the "bizarre" contortionist act, we decided not to attend most of the remaining shows. Past Royal Caribbean cruises had far better entertainment. Our kids (college age) went to the club, the Vortex, each night and reported back that the DJ was horrible. They said that many people complained to the DJ that his choice of music was not conducive to dancing. The DJ indicated that it was the ships directive as to what music should be played. Another disappointment. The menu in the Main Dining Room was another disappointment. Being one that does not eat meat or shellfish, I am limited to what is available on the menu. I understand most restaurants offer salmon as a "back-up" fish. But here it was a main course selection, with limited fish choices each night and frequently was accompanied with shellfish. Again, past Royal Caribbean cruises offered a much better selection of available entrees. Again, another disappointment. Please note, the waitstaff was pleasant and tried their hardest to please us. Saying this, it was as expected and did not exceed expectations. We've been on past Royal Caribbean cruises were family members have stayed in touch with waitstaff. Not the case with this cruise. The food in the WindJammer was fine - it was always busy and challenging to find a table at times. On the sea days, the pool area was always packed - impossible to find a lounge chair. While in Athens, we did the "Taste of Athens" excursions which was very good. Spent a couple of hours at the Acropolis and drove around the city via bus looking at the sites. We had 2 hours in Plaka for shopping and lunch. Our last port of call was Katakolon. This is a small fishing town while the primary tour site is Olympia. The beaches were dirty (sea grass everywhere) but the small town was pleasant with stores and restaurants looking onto the water. Another Greek island would be a better choice for a port stop especially since we missed seeing Mykonos! As for the room attendants, they did their jobs as expected, were friendly and personable. We've been on past Royal Caribbean cruises were everyone has noted outstanding attendants. Not to be found on this cruise. The disembarking process on this ship was very easy and quick - a good way to end this trip! So, if I had to "rate" this cruise, it would be "Below average" at best.....especially compared to past Royal Caribbean cruises we have experienced. Oh, and one last thing, I was surprised to hear our female travel members comment about how much they didn't like Simona, the Cruise Director. They felt she was more interested in bringing attention to herself, versus promote the cruise and what it offered to it's guests. I found that to be most interesting. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our third cruise with Royal Caribbean and after two years with Celebrity it was a big let down. We were a party of eight with half of them been first time cruisers. The MDR staff were poor and only for the efforts of the assistant ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Royal Caribbean and after two years with Celebrity it was a big let down. We were a party of eight with half of them been first time cruisers. The MDR staff were poor and only for the efforts of the assistant waiter things would have worse. We had three inside cabins and two of them had constant plumbing issues. The ship seemed to have a major plumbing problem because of the constant smell throughout. Windjammer was good with the usual variety. Food in the MDR was no better than ok. Food was never hot. Staff were friendly but not exceptional, certainly you were never made to feel special. The one part of the cruise that did work well for us as a group was the kids club The eight and five year old loved it. Embarkation was quick and easy. Our cabin steward did the bare minimum. Entertainment in the main theatre was good but the music in the centrum was too loud and made for a noisy ship. The public toilets were always dirty and smelly. The ship was not overly clean. We missed our stop in Mykonos because of rough seas. Santorini was lovely. We got this cruise at a very good price put wouldn't do Jewel of the Seas again at any price. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Very enjoyable cruise! Having read some of the reviews we were a bit apprehensive about this cruise ship. However we had nothing to worry about as our time on board was very enjoyable. We travelled as a family party of 10 Adults, and ... Read More
Very enjoyable cruise! Having read some of the reviews we were a bit apprehensive about this cruise ship. However we had nothing to worry about as our time on board was very enjoyable. We travelled as a family party of 10 Adults, and each one of us thoroughly enjoyed this ship. While I accept, it lacked some of the newer amenities you find on the larger and newer vessels, the ship had personality , and was off a size that made it easy to get around. We found it clean and bright, and the staff were all very friendly and approachable. The food in the main dining room was good and always served warm, and the portions were just right. The new Captain , who has only been on the ship several months, has to be commended for his very personable approach to sailing, and has made great inroads in turning the culture iof the whole ship to one of- quote "the super friendly- Rhapsody of the seas " He was regularly seen daily by the passengers and participated in numerous activities - while still - of course - keeping a watchful and professional eye on his sailing duties. The headline shows in the theatre were good, and the Tendering process at the designated ports was swift and well organised - I.e. compared to some other cruise lines and ships we have been on ( over 40 plus sailings to date) We did witness some cost saving RCL cutbacks , such as no nuts or crisps in the public bars- unless you asked ! Also no cosmetic supplies in the cabins , with the ship shops being very poorly stocked on basic amenities I.e. no shower gel at all - when we ran out of supply !!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is Fifth time i have sailed with RC and second on the Independence. It will definitely be my last especially from Southampton, Butlins on sea is a fair description of this cruise. Far too busy not enough staff., Rip off ... Read More
This is Fifth time i have sailed with RC and second on the Independence. It will definitely be my last especially from Southampton, Butlins on sea is a fair description of this cruise. Far too busy not enough staff., Rip off excursions they want to take your money in every opportunity. Food is definitely not fine dining in the main restaurants very basic and cold,no sunbeds on sea days something really has to be done about that one.. The windjammer buffet restaurant is like feeding time at the zoo no seats and a repetitive tannoy system telling you to move on as soon as you have ate not very relaxing. Entertainment was probably the best of the cruise but if you are not early you just cant get a seat. I do cruise yearly but this one has really made me rethink my next holiday and its not on a boat. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We just got back from a 10 day Mediterrean cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas. Let me start by listing the positives: -the staff was super friendly and catered to your every need -the rooms were a nice size and very clean -the ... Read More
We just got back from a 10 day Mediterrean cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas. Let me start by listing the positives: -the staff was super friendly and catered to your every need -the rooms were a nice size and very clean -the entertainment was decent -you never had to wait long for a drink -the price for the cruise was amazing -ports of call were beyond amazing and by fair the most scenic I have ever visited Negatives: -the ship was way overcrowded and everyone was vying for pool chairs...it even got nasty at times -going along with the overcrowded theme, the pool and hot tubes were way overcrowded as well -the food was fair...not up to standard from other cruises I have been on. All this being said, the ports of call that we visited and the memories made with family made this cruise all worthwhile. I would definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We had been on Liberty in 2015 after not having been on a cruise for over a decade due to elderly parents and inability to leave for a long time. We spent a week prior to our Venice departure, came back on a Saturday and stayed for another ... Read More
We had been on Liberty in 2015 after not having been on a cruise for over a decade due to elderly parents and inability to leave for a long time. We spent a week prior to our Venice departure, came back on a Saturday and stayed for another 6 days with a train to Florence. Booked my own hotel pre and post in Venice as i was a travel agent knew my way around. Would have skipped Florence, lots of lugging suitcases etc, but as to the cruise it was the perfect blend of busy and relaxation. We did a tour in Santorini, Crete and Athens and Argostoli, but did our own thing in Corfu and Dubrovnick. Found the escorted tours we chose were really good, fast paced and worth it, and we did the same thing in Florence and half and half in Venice. Turkey was cancelled due to the coup but they substituted Crete and in my view it was a better deal. Turkey was 110 degrees the day we would have landed there. Crew was excellent, food was mostly good, desserts and things that could be prepared better en masse better. Windjammer in my view not good, and some of the little restaurants had broschutta OH the cafe by the adult pool was excellent, the best food for lunch. We mostly ate there, they considered these "snacks" but they were very adequate and prolly a healthier choice. We had been promised the year before an upgrade to a balcony and they reneged on this, despite 20 or so calls from me and my travel agent. AS I WAS ONE for 23 years I think my travel agent got into a pissing contest with the rep and i would have been better on my own if they were paying her a 13% commission. I booked our trip this summer directly to avoid that. Liberty of the seas was last year and THIS was better for most reasons, i think Liberty is a bigger and more lively ship for entertainment, but I can't fault this itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
loved Brilliance of the Seas! If can afford it...get a balcony cabin...so nice relax and sit out on the balcony and watch the world go by! Go to Giovanni's for dinner...best food there is. We went to the English pub...so much ... Read More
loved Brilliance of the Seas! If can afford it...get a balcony cabin...so nice relax and sit out on the balcony and watch the world go by! Go to Giovanni's for dinner...best food there is. We went to the English pub...so much fun...Carl sang and played his guitar...awesome. The entertainment: the comedians and magicans were great...entertaining. The shows with singers and dancers were OK. The vocalist Mandy (At Schooner Lounge) pipes...that woman can sing! The cruise director Jeremy was fantastic. We did most of our excursions with private companies that we found on boards here on Cruise Critic...so , much cheaper and not rushed at all. We went in July 2016 Med Cruise..alot of ports...Barcelona, Cannes, Florence/Pisa, Rome, Athens, Santorini, Crete (were supposed to go to Ephesus, Turkey but there was fighting going on in Istanbul) and Malta. Loved everything about it!!! Crete we shopped and went to the beach. Cannes was kind of quiet. Pisa was interesting took the train to get there. Rome took a tour "Rome in Limo" terrific! Athens...took a tour...can't remember the name. Santorini we rented a jeep and just drove around the island...it is small. Malta we used the "hop on hop off bus" and went all over. Sad that it is over! The staff in the dining rooms and all over the ship were so friendly and accomidating. The food in MDR and Windjammer was great. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise mainly due to the itinerary as we had never sailed on RC. Embarkation and disembarking were a breeze and the ship was wonderful. It was clean with plenty to occupy your days. The cruise had been sold out but the only ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly due to the itinerary as we had never sailed on RC. Embarkation and disembarking were a breeze and the ship was wonderful. It was clean with plenty to occupy your days. The cruise had been sold out but the only time it felt that way was sea days and the search for a deck chair Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I would give a rating of average to good to this cruise. My number one complaint was the internet service. RC customer relations staff told me, when I complained, that the service was bad because they had too many people online. If ... Read More
I would give a rating of average to good to this cruise. My number one complaint was the internet service. RC customer relations staff told me, when I complained, that the service was bad because they had too many people online. If you can only handle so many people, then dont oversell! I thought that was disrespectful for them to give as a justification for the quality of the service. We had a lot of trouble communicating amongst each other because half of the time the service was down. It was very unnerving. This service is not cheap, and sometimes my daughter could not get together with the rest of the teenager group because the internet did not allow them to send or receive texts. Same with the adults. After a couple of days, the Compass, a daily publication given to all passengers, included a very defensive note that stated that they would not return any money for service interruptions, etc. That made me really upset. On one of the sea days it took me over FOUR hours to complete a work task, and help from my assistant that I usually dont need for this, for something I usually do in less than one hour, by myself, because of the internet connection. I was literally crying and frustrated about the whole experience. The quality of the food, in my opinion, was lacking, hit or miss. The food was in the formal dining room was "hit or miss". Some things were very good, and others were bad. The first day the fish was great, the second day it was very dry. To give you one example of the bad, one night the menu included some Mexican inspired salad with beef and cilantro dressing (I forgot the rest of the description). To begin with, there was no beef in the salad, in fact, in any of the 3 salads that were ordered in our table (same dish). The cilantro dressing was also missing. They brought some other dressing on the side and did not even mention it. We had to ask for the beef, which was brought in another plate (they did not take the salad plates back and replated them, which I thought would be the right thing to do). I personally did not order the salad, but on another night, I ordered pesto pasta, which my daughter also ordered. Half of the pasta was cooked al dente (which is the right way to do it), the other half was halfway cooked. To make it worse, the "pesto sauce" had no flavor, none, the blandest thing I have ever tasted, and I am one that is not very picky with food. I took two bites and decided I had paid too much money to eat that. My daughter had the same complaints about the plate, but was too hungry to wait for them to produce something else. Another lady in my party tasted my plate, because she had not heard me complain about anything I had eaten so far, and said "that is REALLY bad." Finally, if you are traveling with teens, other than a rock climbing wall, there are no other available activities for teens on this cruise. The "teen party" or parties are really attended mostly by children, which I witnessed. There is only one pool available for them, and the same is almost always full, and no lounge chairs available. No on demand tv, poor cable tv selection. Our 5 teenagers in our group were not happy while at sea. Great suite accommodations, great stateroom attendant, very professional and diligent formal dining room waitstaff, but the minuses really take away from the experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The ship was upgraded with much nicer common areas, although hallways and bathroom floors did not look as clean in all cases. Telephone equipment also very dated but that probably doesn't matter as much since people don't tend to ... Read More
The ship was upgraded with much nicer common areas, although hallways and bathroom floors did not look as clean in all cases. Telephone equipment also very dated but that probably doesn't matter as much since people don't tend to use the ship phones to dial outside the ship anymore. My family enjoyed the destinations. We booked our excursions separately from the ship to save money. We booked our trips through the Travel Insiders (you can find great TripAdvisor reviews on them). They manage tours on several islands and it was much more comfortable to be in a small group where we could hear the very informative guide speak, than in a large group. In fact, we saw a RCCL tour in Athens and some of the group members informally listened in on our group because it was easier to hear our guide. Ship specialty restaurants were very good. Food in common areas also good although not as good as at the specialty restaurants. The staff work very hard to please guests, although we felt rushed at times at dinner, probably because the staff had to quickly turn over tables for the next seatings. Not the staff's fault, more a function of being on a large ship. Shows were better than expected and there were many movie options. In addition to the regular cabaret cast there were special guests, including winner of X-Factor one night, a Motown style group, and an acrobatic couple on other nights. The main disappointment was that many of the talks, especially those sponsored by the fitness center or spa, were only 20% informative and 80% sales-oriented. It was not surprising, after listening to a few of these lectures, that these sessions were poorly attended. Skip these unless you wish to purchase cruise ship only products and services. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our first ever cruise and our travel agent recommended Jewel of the Seas as it was a mid sized ship. Embarkation was fast and very easy and we were onboard within 25 minutes. Our stateroom wasn't ready until 1pm so we ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and our travel agent recommended Jewel of the Seas as it was a mid sized ship. Embarkation was fast and very easy and we were onboard within 25 minutes. Our stateroom wasn't ready until 1pm so we headed to Windjammer for lunch. Out first impressions were great, friendly staff, huge variety of food and lots of space. At 1pm our room was ready, we were vey impressed, it was spacious and spotless and we thought the balcony was particularly well sized. Our stateroom attendant kept our room pristine and we enjoyed the towel animals every evening. The level of service on board was second to none. We had all of our meals at Windjammer, they do different themes every evening, we found the Asian night the best of all. The variety and choice of foods was excellent and we never had any problems finding a table at any time of the day. The ship never felt crowded and was very easy to navigate. We found the entertainment to be very good and enjoyed the shows in Coral Theatre every evening. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and are already planning our next one! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
To begin with, this was my first cruise. I was travelling with my girlfriend and her parents, who had been on a number of cruises before. For the most part, this was a very positive experience for me. Both the embarkation and ... Read More
To begin with, this was my first cruise. I was travelling with my girlfriend and her parents, who had been on a number of cruises before. For the most part, this was a very positive experience for me. Both the embarkation and disembarkation process went far smoother than I expected. My girlfriend's parents, who are veteran cruisers, said it was one of the quickest and most organized disembarkations they have ever had. The ship itself was wonderful. Although this was considered a mid-size ship, I thought with something like 6 bars, 2 pools, a casino, a fitness center, many places to eat, and more, there was more than enough on board to fill the time. Royal Caribbean really seems to do a great job with having many activities; we like doing quizzes and there were literally 4-5 quizzes per day, along with dozens of other activities. The time on shore and the excursions were pretty good. We stopped in Kotor, Montenegro, though we only had a few hours due to a delay because of engine trouble. The ship's scheduled walking tour was OK, but perhaps overpriced for what was a mere 75 minute tour. The Corfu tour was much better, and we had plenty of time in port, though with the traffic in town, everyone came back to the ship at once and it was a madhouse getting back on. When we went to Mykonos, we did the walking tour plus local wine-tasting and it was spectacular, highly recommended. As far as the cabins go, I found them to be wonderful. We had an interior cabin, and found it to be big enough, and the storage space was plentiful. It wasn't a luxury hotel room, but it's not meant to be. It was dark, quiet, big enough, and had a comfortable bed and a shower better than half the showers in hotels in Europe; what's to complain about? The food was pretty good. The Windjammer buffet had some really good things, some average things, and some awful things, just like every buffet in the world. In the dining room, the food was better, and even when it was bad, which happened occasionally, they were more than happy to substitute something else. I have a dietary restriction as well, and the staff dealt with it excellently. The staff was, for the most part, fantastic. Really friendly, helpful, and seemed to really enjoy the jobs without sugar-coating how much they actually worked. They really did make the effort to make us enjoy the trip, and I appreciate that. All in all, while I know from talking to people that there are better cruises out there, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and would do it again if I had the chance. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The Vision of the Seas was our choice because the itinerary stopped in some ports we had not been to before. I was pleasantly surprised after reading some of the other cruise critics reviews that the ship was in wonderful condition. I ... Read More
The Vision of the Seas was our choice because the itinerary stopped in some ports we had not been to before. I was pleasantly surprised after reading some of the other cruise critics reviews that the ship was in wonderful condition. I absolutely loved the size and the renovations that had been done on her. The atrium was used for many gatherings, and I was glad to see it was put to use instead of just looking pretty. Our cabin was updated , air conditioning worked great, bath was updated, however they still had the shower curtain that stuck to you if you got too close, it would be nice if they used shower doors instead. Food was fabulous, service everywhere was first class!! My one complaint would have to be the shore excursions, we arrived in Montenegro too late to have a shore excursion, our shore excursion in Athens was cancelled due to lack of participation on a sold out ship( we were supposed to go to Corinth and only 16 people booked the trip), and our excursion in argostoli was 1 1/2 hours late getting back to the ship. My favorite excursion was on Mykonos, we took the trip to Delos, it was fabulous to see the ancient ruins on this uninhabited island, to be able to sit in the theatre on the the same benches people sat on thousands of years ago, the museum was great also!! Even though we had difficulty with some of these excursions the ports were still wonderful, and I loved the itinerary!! I loved this cruise and the ship, if you have only cruised on the mega ships you might find this one a little dull, but I have cruised on both, and would take the smaller, older ship any day over the big ones because it is easier to get around, and they go to more interesting ports!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise as I had cruised with RCI on five previous occasions and never had cause to complain. Unfortunately I found this particular cruise fell short of the standards previously experienced on Majesty, Navigator, Adventure and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as I had cruised with RCI on five previous occasions and never had cause to complain. Unfortunately I found this particular cruise fell short of the standards previously experienced on Majesty, Navigator, Adventure and Empress of the seas. The ship looks as though it is in need of a makeover on close inspection. Overall I was disappointed in the drop in standard of the dress code in the main restaurant and the extra charges put on the drinks and the day gratuity per person per cabin. On Formal night people were allowed in the main dining room in shorts which i have never seen on other RCI ships. Even crew members were in agreement with me on this. The shore excursion s are extremely expensive and you would be well advised to make your own way to doe of the attractions. For example the RCI water taxi from the cruise ship into St Marks Square Venice is $10 per person dearer than the local water taxi. The local boats are more flexible os you dock in Venice overnight and the last RCI taxi is 10pm yet there is no curfew on the ship. Each cabin is charged $13.50 per person per cabin gratuity which is apparently divided amongst all the attendants and waiters. Personally I prefer to chose who I reward for service and you can have this charge removed or modified at the end of the trip. There was a further 18% gratuity added to drinks which I was told by the information desk goes to the bar staff as tips. This can't be removed. The cabin was well maintained and serviced by our attendant on a very regular basis. Roberto was great and well deserved the tips he got. Nothing was too much trouble for him. I found the dining room staff ok but not over friendly. They were more concerned with the larger tables. We had a table for two and you tend to be put out of the way. Entertainment was not as good as on previous cruises but i will mention the Phil Collins tribute which was very good and Carl Fryer, guitar and vocalist who he'd the pub rocking on a nightly basis. Decks are packed on sea days as is the norm on cruises bout there seemed to be loads of loungers stacked up waiting for repair. Overall it was good but not as good as previous cruises so disappointed in a way. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We loved the Biblical Referenced Excursions! Walking among the archaeological excavations was something I will always remember. The tour guides had so much knowledge, and patience for our many questions. We felt completely safe on all of ... Read More
We loved the Biblical Referenced Excursions! Walking among the archaeological excavations was something I will always remember. The tour guides had so much knowledge, and patience for our many questions. We felt completely safe on all of our excursions. I do wish we had more time in Turkey to shop, but that was my only complaint - which really isn't a complaint but rather more of a suggestion. The ship crew were attentive, courteous and very accommodating with my food allergies. If you get a chance to tour the ship bridge, please do. It was so cool. Every morning we awoke to beautiful landscapes and another adventure. Diego, the Concierge for our suite was quick to supply birthday cupcakes and treats. He even made sure we had a table for 2 by the window, for our romantic meals. The ship was clean. The food was delicious and there were plenty of gluten free options. (Even fun deserts). Can't wait to go again!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
As a wheel chair user I found the staff ignorant of my needs, there seemed to have been no training re mobility passengers. From getting into arrivals at Venice to departures at Venice 10 days later it was a shambles. We had to wait 45 ... Read More
As a wheel chair user I found the staff ignorant of my needs, there seemed to have been no training re mobility passengers. From getting into arrivals at Venice to departures at Venice 10 days later it was a shambles. We had to wait 45 minutes at Venice for special transport to the ship as the coach couldn't accommodate a wheel chair. When it finally arrived we were taken to the ship and left without any help whatsoever. We had four cases and a ramp to get up, and they were expecting my 66 year wife to carry them and push me up a steep ramp. We asked a RC staff if he could get us some assistance ( which we had booked with our travel agent) just to be told that all the staff were busy. Eventually after a lot complaining he pushed me up himself. I won't go on too much as it will take too long, but any wheelchair passengers thinking of booking a cruise on this be warned. If the ports of call are by a tender, you won't be able to get off, even the untrained staff wasn't aware of this until we got to the top of about 12 steps. Oh dear they said 'you will have to stay on board'. I told my wife that she should go ashore and not miss seeing santorini, she was very upset as she didn't want to leave me. When she had left the ship I was told I would have to make my own way back to cabin as all the staff were busy. Not only am I in constant pain with spinal problems but I also have rheumatoid arthritis which makes it difficult to push the chair especially on carpets. I decided to go to reception on my way back to tell them about what had happened, the girl didn't seem very interested but said she would send someone down to the cabin to see me. I waited, but no one came. As we have previously cruised with p&o who seemed to take a different attitude with mobility passengers, our experience with RC left a lot to be desired. We couldn't book any of the shuttle buses because I would have had to climb around 4 steps to get on one. In the self service restaurant I couldn't see the food as I was too low down, my wife had to tell me what there was to eat, get it for me, take me back to a table, go and get drinks, take them back to the table. Go and get her own food which by this time I had nearly finished mine. On p&o this wouldn't have happened as a member of the crew would have taken over from my wife as soon as we entered the restaurant. We found this lack of courtesy throughout the cruise, we don't expect special treatment but a bit of understanding would go a long way. When the cruise had ended and we were taken to the airport, we were just left outside, no idea where to go, asked a member of staff for wheelchair assistance. It took my wife over half an hour before she could locate anyone. So beware if you are a wheelchair user and can't climb steps, forget about going ashore if the boat has to use a tender. So disappointing, missed santorini and montellegro. I could go on and on, but think I have covered the basics Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My husband and I are giving this cruise an average because of the Guest Relation Service and Communications. Ship - Old and small ship as what we expected, clean and well maintained. Entertainment - Not bad except for one night ... Read More
My husband and I are giving this cruise an average because of the Guest Relation Service and Communications. Ship - Old and small ship as what we expected, clean and well maintained. Entertainment - Not bad except for one night where they had the country music performance. The country songs were not meant for the singers to sing especially the female singers. Dining and Cabin Services - They were always excellent. The dining, cleaning and cabin members were always pleasant and smiling. We respect them for their hard work. Quality of food - Wished there was rice (eg. rice pilaf) instead of mash potatoes on most of the dinner menu. The fried items got soggy when they were placed on top of the mashed potatoes. Overall, we were not disappointed with the meals, much better than our home cook meals. Ports Excursions - more expensive than excursions in the Caribbean islands, as expected as it is in Europe. It was well coordinated. Guest Relation Service Desk - Conflict of critical information provided. It was supposed to be a vacation ended with no stress, good memories but Royal Caribbean lost my luggage at disembarkation in Venice. We were given conflicting information on carrying our luggage when we disembarked the ship. We were told by the guest relation officer that we are not allow to carry our luggage because of the port authority regulation and not Royal Caribbean regulation. She gave us an 'EXCEPTION" to leave the ship early with the diamond members because of our flight schedule. The second time around, I was at the Guest Relation Services desk and happened to hear the same staff telling two ladies that they can carry their luggage out. I confronted the same staff that I overhead what she told the ladies. This time she told me "it is not recommended" to carry our own luggage. We decided to tag the luggage and let the crew members take out our luggage. Disembarkation - Could not find the luggage and luggage started to pour out from the ship. One of the crew members told me to look through three thousand pieces of luggage. Two members were helpful especially the one that filed the paper work for my lost luggage. Communications: For two ports, the boarding times were changed, extended by an hour. The boarding times were announced by the captain but not everyone was aware of the time being extended including the security member and the cruise director. We were asked by other guests during dinner time as to how we knew about the time change for boarding the ship. When we disembarked the ship at one of the port we tried to confirm the actual time to board the ship we were told what was in the brochure. Anyway not wanting to miss the ship, when we showed up at the terminal we saw the time was extended an hour. We raised the question to the security officer and was told that it was announced in the morning when we were actually on the boat to be tendered. Post Cruise - Called the corporate from the airport on July 4,2016. The agent started the process. We have never been stress since we came home from the cruise. My luggage was found on the July 6 when I called in to check. We have been calling almost every day since that until recently as every time we called it is always different person and we were told that since we have been assigned to an agent, it is best to send him email. We received an email on July 7 to fill in the forms and we submitted immediately on that night. We did not hear anything until July 12 that it has been rejected by the luggage support. We are non-resident of US and we just need explanation and confirmation that we have filled up the correct forms. My husband wrote on the email that we have declared the lost luggage at our own home country and wants to ensure that the luggage is not sent to US. We had to fill the forms again and immediately sent out on July 12. We received two phone messages since them but no response to acknowledge receipt or updates. We have no mean to communicate by phone with our agent other than email and that being said every day we are waiting for status update. It has been close to 2 weeks and no sign of my luggage being shipped. Overall, to get a response from the agent is an average of three days. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our first cruise and we loved it! We chose to go on Rhapsody for the length of the cruise and the ports. We arrived to Venice 2 nights before embarkation. We had a great romantic start on our honeymoon exploring Venice, having ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it! We chose to go on Rhapsody for the length of the cruise and the ports. We arrived to Venice 2 nights before embarkation. We had a great romantic start on our honeymoon exploring Venice, having dinner by the cannals, seeing the Rialto bridge and St Marks church, gondola ride kissing under the Bridge of Sighs at dusk (pricey but worth it) Embarkation was great, no lines, we walked straight on to the ship. The sail out of Venice on the ship was amazing. The ship was lovely, and we would consider going on her again but not for more than a 5 night cruise. She is a small and old ship, missing all the bells and whistles of a newer bigger ship. There were always activities provided by the staff. Finding a deckchair was impossible on days at sea and people found them self circling the pools like vultures. Even on the upper level and in the front/back of the ship was full. (Or neatly reserved with a towel) It was the same situation in the Solarium. Food was very good overall. We did not eat at and specialty restaurants. We enjoyed Park Cafe located in the Solarium a lot, very good sallads for a (relatively) healthy lunch. The shows was okay, nothing more or less We did feel a bit out of place when it comes to the ages on board this cruise. Most other passengers were either 60+ or families with teenagers, and we were 24. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We had sailed out of Venice previously and chose to go again, this time with family members. We had two JS on deck 8 at the stern where we greatly enjoyed the large balconies. Choips and Giovanni's were great. Although we prefer the ... Read More
We had sailed out of Venice previously and chose to go again, this time with family members. We had two JS on deck 8 at the stern where we greatly enjoyed the large balconies. Choips and Giovanni's were great. Although we prefer the larger ships - Voyager class or bigger (love the Allure), we enjoyed this cruise very much. The captain was newly promoted and was the most visible and outgoing of any we had ever met before. The staff and crew were completely committed to our satisfaction, and we gave special kudos to our stateroom attendant Marcelo, Waiter Trezzie and Asst Waiter Ottavio, the Head Waiter Ali and the Concierge, Annalia. We had excellent excursions with the exception of the last. Our first was CG01A - Panoramic Corfu. It was a a scenic bus ride, and both the guide and driver were very good. Next we did MK01A - Ancient Delos, at Mykonos. It was a bit of a boat ride but the ruins of Delos were very interesting and the guide was exceptional. Next we did Ancient Corinth and Canal Cruise while in Athens. Although it is of fairly recent vintage (19th and 20th century construction), the canal cruise was enjoyable. We then visited ancient Corinth and its museum. Relics were fascinating. The real highlight was our day 9 excursion in Montenegro - Montenegro Highlights. What a stunningly beautiful place! The fjord entrance to Kotor was incredible. The bus ride up and over the mountain is not for the faint of heart, due to the narrow and winding road (one-way for the most part). Our last excursion was on day 10 - Tastes and Panoramas of Dalmatia (Zadar, Croatia). It was a disaster. Once on the bus, the guide announced that Croatia accepts only kini, and public restrooms are not free. We had four rest stops, three of which required kuni to use them. Everyone was distressed, and some were literally crying with agony. Many climbed over the turnstiles in desperation. At $100 per person, either RCCL or the tour operator should provide restroom services at no charge. RCCL gave us no warning about this. While other parts of Croatia are beautiful and interesting, Zadar and the route to it from the port are not. Both were as drab and unattractive as Montenegro was stunning and awe inspiring. What an unfortunate contrast! Zadar's architecture is clearly soviet bloc in design, excepting the historical buildings of course. Zadar is one to miss - save your time and money for the spa and a nice nap on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
First the ship. Dated and showing wear. The decor needs to be updated and the furnishings in the public spaces and staterooms are old. Food. Minstral dining room menus is ok, nothng fancy, cheaper, no lobster anymore. Often skipped to ... Read More
First the ship. Dated and showing wear. The decor needs to be updated and the furnishings in the public spaces and staterooms are old. Food. Minstral dining room menus is ok, nothng fancy, cheaper, no lobster anymore. Often skipped to go to Windjammer that had same menu items every night as main dining. Other food areas closed early. Snacks hard to find and very limited. No more burger stands near pool areas. Free drinks turned off very early, not even water available! Unacceptable! Dining areas slow to clear tables. Crown and Anchor event very poor, cheap, not entertaining. Skip it, not worth the time. Entertainment. Excellent, even usually boring singer and dancer shows. Drinks packages. Do not buy. A total ripoff. Do the math on how many drinks or soda's you need to consume to break even and you will either be drunk by then or on a terrible sugar high. Excursions. Very good though why a $359 for a day in Rome cannot include a cheap bottle of water is beyond me. Simple GREED I guess. In conclusion, there is little to distinguish Royal Caribbbean from other cruise lines anymore. Average food, nickle and dime charges, limited services and over priced drinks await you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We selected Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas for the 12-night Mediterranean Cruise because of the destinations. Unfortunately, by the time we were able to book, the only available cabin for our family of 5 was the Family Stateroom, ... Read More
We selected Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas for the 12-night Mediterranean Cruise because of the destinations. Unfortunately, by the time we were able to book, the only available cabin for our family of 5 was the Family Stateroom, Cabin 7004. We were assured by the agent booking the cruise that the stateroom “comfortably sleeps 6”. The Royal Caribbean website states, “Two twin beds that convert to a Royal King, measuring 72.5 inches wide by 82 inches long, additional bunk beds in separate area, separate sitting area with sofa bed, and a private bathroom with shower. Stateroom can accommodate up to 6 guests. (265 sq. ft.)” I was apprehensive about booking this stateroom because it seemed very small for 5 people, but went ahead. There is something to be said about a gut feeling. Arrival at the port in Barcelona went very smoothly, and we were able to get on the ship right away. Upon entering the Centrum, we were welcomed by the wonderful sound of Classical Guitarist Aleksandr Kudrin. (During our cruise, we went to listen to Aleksandr several times in different venues and were always overwhelmed.) An announcement was made about 1:00pm that all cabins were ready. We made our way to Deck 7 and Stateroom 7004. I was overcome with such a feeling of disappointment upon entering. The King bed was exactly as described, but we only saw one twin be in the separate “room”. We did not see how the sofa could fold out into a bed. We inquired at Guest Services regarding the two other sleeping areas and were told that the cabin steward would pull two down from the ceiling at night. We were able to see one, and assumed that the other bed would be the sofa pulled out. We looked at the sofa and saw the upholstery to be very dirty and worn. When we pulled off the cushions, the cushion seams were torn, and the top of the “mattress” was very stained. It looked to be extremely unsanitary. We again made our way down to Guest Services, and were told that we had already reported this issue, and would be contacted by someone in Housekeeping. Some time later, someone from Housekeeping came to the cabin. We showed him the torn seams and the stains. He had to call the cabin steward to come in to show him how the sofa pulled out to make the bed. He said he would have someone come in and stitch up the torn seams, and a duvet would cover the stained area before being made up to be a bed. This solution was not really acceptable, but a replacement was not possible. We decided to make the best of it. The private bathroom was extremely small. The shower barely has enough room to turn around in. This particular bathroom had a faint smell of mold and mildew, and there were areas in the shower where mold and mildew were visible. There were also areas around the sink where the caulk around the tile was cracked or gone. Needless to say, the cabin and bathroom were worn, specifically the upholstery on the chair and sofa and the window coverings, and very much in need of refurbishment. Stateroom 7004 is located at the very front of the ship, and a stairwell to an area backstage of the Pacifica Theater is right outside the cabin door. During the afternoon, you can hear musicians practicing their instruments clearly. Forget about taking a nap in the cabin during the afternoon. The food on the Brilliance of the Seas was very good. The Minstrel was a great place for dinner, and the Windjammer was wonderful for breakfast. The aft deck behind the Windjammer is wonderful in the morning. There was always a good selection of choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We traveled with our three sons, 16, 14, and 11. The older two enjoyed the teen club, Optix. All three enjoyed the Rock Climbing Wall and mini golf. They also enjoyed going to the Cinema to watch movies. The destinations were the main reason for our choice of this particular cruise. We only did the ship’s excursion for Athens, and we felt we made a good choice on that. The stop in Civitavecchia (Rome) was hectic, and not really enough time to see the city. In speaking to other guests that had taken the ship’s excursion, they felt rushed to get everything in. We took a Hop-On Hop-Off bus from the main train station in Rome, and were only able to get off to see the outside of the Colosseum. Anyone wanting to see the Colosseum and the Vatican should take a ship’s excursion, but be prepared to rush to get everything in. Cannes, Santorini, and Malta were easy ports to do on our own. The buses in Santorini to Oia are full and can be difficult to get a seat on, be prepared for people ignoring lines and just getting on the bus in front of others. A cab may be worth the extra few dollars to get to Oia, which is stunningly beautiful and should not be missed. Oia, however, is full of pickpockets, which work in groups of two or three. Be careful of personal belongings. The cafes in Oia are very expensive. (Read Rick Steves’ Mediterranean Cruise Ports for great tips!) The ability to go out onto the helipad for sailing out of and into ports was wonderful. The views can be spectacular, and the stunning sunsets on the Mediterranean Sea are something to see. Royal Caribbean has a policy for pool deck chairs being first come, first served. “Unattended towels and items left on chairs for more than 30 minutes will be removed.” On sea days, all deck chairs around the pool seemed to be claimed by 9:00am. I only witnessed the 30-minute rule being implemented once. There also seemed to be an abundance of unsupervised children around the pool area – screaming, running, and jumping in and out of the hot tubs. The Solarium Pool area is for adults only, but it is a covered area by a glass ceiling. When entering the Solarium from the forward elevator bank near the Vitality Spa, there was a faint smell of vomit. I smelled it every time I walked through there even though I saw it being cleaned. When entering the pool deck from the Solarium on the port side, there was always a faint smell of trash. Arrival back in Barcelona and departure off the ship was very easy and went smoothly. You are able to keep your bags with you instead of checking them the last night and getting off first through Self Assist Departure. This works out well for early flights out of Barcelona. Overall, the trip was great and we have many great memories to last a lifetime. The Brilliance of the Seas has it good aspects, but Family Stateroom 7004 was a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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