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1,336 Royal Caribbean Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We just completed an 11 day Mediterranean cruise on the Jewel of the Seas in April. Overall, we found it to be an enjoyable experience. Pros: The train from Rome to Civitavecchia was convenient and took about an hour. There was a ... Read More
We just completed an 11 day Mediterranean cruise on the Jewel of the Seas in April. Overall, we found it to be an enjoyable experience. Pros: The train from Rome to Civitavecchia was convenient and took about an hour. There was a shuttle from the station in Civitavecchia to the RCCL area to board buses to the ship. We waited in line for some time to have board a bus to take us to the ship. Once we got to the port, the processing and boarding went smoothly and quickly. One suitcase was all ready by the door when we got to our room, the other didn’t arrive until nearly 10 pm. We had an interior room on the 2nd deck. We were happy with the room, although a little tight. Fortunately our luggage could fit under the bed. It was convenient for our port days not having to wait for an elevator when we came back on board. Erick, our room attendant from Brazil, was a pleasant, personable young man. He did a good job of keeping our room looking tidy. All the ports were new for us and very interesting in their own rights. Smaller ship, less people. We had a congenial dining group. Our group consisted of an Australian couple, New Zealand couple, and a French speaking couple from Quebec, Canada. As in the past, this has been one of the highlights of our cruising experience. Our waiter, Shanshan, was very attentive and always pleasant. She kept us apprised of the next day’s schedule of the meal times at the Coral dining room. She worked several nights by herself when her assistant left. Sometimes she had help from the Windjammer. We were pleased with the wait staff in the Windjammer. Thanks for including a time slot to play pickleball. In fact, there were quite a few people wanting to play This is becoming a more popular sport, so having more time allotted would be good. Cons: The entertainment was certainly subpar to our other RCCL cruises. The comedians were disappointing. The best show was the Beatles’ tribute followed by the first show, a hand shadow display. There were quite a few “tween” children that were unsupervised, running around the halls, lounges, and pushing all the elevator buttons- quite annoying. We would have enjoyed a bit more variety of activities for the sea days. We did enjoy the trivia sessions. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise as a before Christmas break, we anticipated cool weather being early Winter, however we hadn't expected the rain! Rhapsody is getting to look tired, the outside has yellow rust stains, the interior well worn ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a before Christmas break, we anticipated cool weather being early Winter, however we hadn't expected the rain! Rhapsody is getting to look tired, the outside has yellow rust stains, the interior well worn in places. The previous cruise had an outbreak of Noro virus so boarding was delayed to allow a deep clean, the Ship was clean and crew were seen frequently washing down rails, tables, chairs in all public places. Outbreak measures were in place in dining rooms, salt & pepper pots were replaced with paper sachets for first 72 hrs. The Crew however are friendly and helpful. Smoking in the Casino makes it an unpleasant place to be for non smokers. The my time dining option is obviously very popular, however the tables in the my time area are crowded together which spoils the ambience. Service was a good standard and food quality was high. The windjammer can be variable and space is an issue on Rhapsody, despite cool weatjer we had no choice but to eat outside on a number of days as the insidd was jam packed. Shows were of the usual standard, entertainment in the Centrum was good, Breakfast in the main dining room was a big disappointment, food cold & limited choice, definately a drop in standard we have had previously on Rhapsody and other ships. Also the time that breakfast is served in main daining room is very limited, will not bother with it again. Chefs table was a great evening, high quality food and superb wine pairings. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I have been on this ship last year (Feb 2018)(Tampa/Belize/Roatan/Cozumel/Costa Maya) and it was an excellent experience overall. My partner and I booked this ship again and did a Mediterranean cruise ... Read More
I have been on this ship last year (Feb 2018)(Tampa/Belize/Roatan/Cozumel/Costa Maya) and it was an excellent experience overall. My partner and I booked this ship again and did a Mediterranean cruise (Venice/Dubrovnik/Kotor/Santorini/Katakolon). I was excited initially as I brought my brother and sister-in-law and it was their first time to cruise. Can’t really complain with the cabin as we booked an interior cabin and it served its purpose considering we will be out most days anyway. However, we have noticed that there are elements in the room that are really run down and needs replacing. But for the price we paid, didn’t really bother me that much. The embarkation was ok, no complaints, pretty smooth actually. So on the first day, probably due to the weather, there was no sail away party! Even an indoor party would’ve been nice to have set the mood. It was all a bit blah. Also disappointed that there was no lobster night! Was informed they don’t do lobster nights on a European cruise. Food was better, the food in the main dining room was excellent. Really enjoyed it. The cruise director Elvis got better towards the end. I like his sense of humour but there’s not enough of him! I only liked two cruise director staff - Tanya and Gianni. The rest needed some personality transplant. Ports of call could’ve been excellent, the weather was just a let down! Maybe do this cruise in the summer months or you’ll be experiencing rain!!! Having said that we still enjoyed it! Now to the biggest letdown - The entertainment! The headliner shows were alright. The production shows however are the same 21 months ago!!! Although the 4 singers were better than the last time, the faces of a couple of dancers were really distracting. It’s like “look at me and my showbiz jazzy robotic smile”. You’ll know what I mean when you see it. Also I had my LASIK surgery since I last cruised with Rhapsody and got better than 20-20 vision and I could not believe what I saw - the female dancers were wearing wigs with chin straps!!! They look horrible! And the amount of pirouette they have in each number was outrageous. It’s like I’ll stretch my legs to the right do a pirouette, move to the front and do a pirouette! My head was spinning watching. Defo need a new choreographer and wardrobe. Now with the costumes - I think it slightly got better the last time but I couldn’t help but chuckle in one number when the female dancers were dressed like red condoms with a glittery hand on their head! I mean what was that!!! Overall, it wasn’t my favourite. Not enough activities onboard either since we can’t sun bathe due to the weather. Just a shame as I loved this ship the first time around! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Second part of our cruise, which started November 17. Disembarked and made our way into town on the People Mover. The city experienced some rain for the past two days and was flooded. They put up ramps about 1 1/2 foot high to walk ... Read More
Second part of our cruise, which started November 17. Disembarked and made our way into town on the People Mover. The city experienced some rain for the past two days and was flooded. They put up ramps about 1 1/2 foot high to walk on, not very wide, but did the trick of keeping dry. Loved the city, will go back to spend more time exploring in the future. The ship needs some updating. Captain Tobias Oster was great. Very visible and friendly. The Windjammer was really crowded and hard to find a clean table. They weren't that quick in cleaning tables. Getting to the food was another issue. The buffet is set up in a circle in the middle, which makes it hard to navigate. Not much variety for dinner. Went to the main dining room most nights. Breakfast was good, made to order eggs and waffles. Lunch was hit or miss. Service could have been better. Entertainment was good and non stop. The weather was cold and rainy, so no music at the pool. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because we got a good deal on it. We're long-time RCI sailers, so only go on their line. The ports were lovely; I had never been to Europe before except a land-based Italy tour, so it was good to see other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we got a good deal on it. We're long-time RCI sailers, so only go on their line. The ports were lovely; I had never been to Europe before except a land-based Italy tour, so it was good to see other sides of Europe. We didn't do any excursions, just wandered through the towns. As for the ship, it is showing its age with minor issues here and there, but it's still nice. The amenities are just right for the size of passengers. The food and the entertainment are awesome, up to RCI's high standards. I was pleasantly surprised, as the food quality had gone down in some of my previous cruises. Yes, they don't offer lobster any more on the formal night, but there are delicious entrees for everyone at each dinner. We ate at the MDR each night and the two lunches at sea, except at Chops the first night. Windjammer was good for breakfast and lunch, and is relatively large (compared to other RCI ships) for the number of guests, so you usually can find a table. The guest activities through the cruise director's staff were fun, and there was a great variety. I didn't use any of the fitness centers this cruise. It was nice to see that the cruise director's zumba classes were done in the Centrum rather than the little area in the fitness center. The thing I love best about this and all my RCI cruises is the variety of cruisers and the crew. Young and old, active and not, from all over the world. It will keep me coming back! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was my first cruise and I was delighted with all the delicious and varied food, the spectacular shows, the service, the members of both service to the booths and entertainment were always helpful and friendly I really do not have any ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I was delighted with all the delicious and varied food, the spectacular shows, the service, the members of both service to the booths and entertainment were always helpful and friendly I really do not have any complaints. The ship is amazing and all its beautiful locations. I was lucky to be served by Gopal and Dominic every night at the Main Dining and they were the best waiters in the world and the best I have ever had in my life they were very kind, funny and very helpful, if I have the opportunity to take another Cruise would choose the same and of course Gopal and Dominic too. Thanks to you, we spent one of the best holidays of our lives with my family, with my eyes closed I really recommend rhapsody of the seas. I really liked that at every entrance of every restaurant, bar, theater there was disinfectant soap, what a great idea. Keep doing and amazing service and incredibles shows Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The centrum is the common area where they have nightly entertainment. Seating is limited on the 4th floor. People hang over the balconies of higher floors to take part. On the 3rd day of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. The centrum is the common area where they have nightly entertainment. Seating is limited on the 4th floor. People hang over the balconies of higher floors to take part. On the 3rd day of the cruise, we were informed that a small percentage of guests had Norovirus. So no touching food in the Windjammer and extensive sanitizing around the ship. Was worried because we were continuing on this ship the next week. The food in the Windjammer was average. Had dinner in the dining room most nights. My Time Dining is great. You can go when you want, not early or late seating. Captain Tobias Oster was very engaging. Saw him many times throughout the cruise. The entertainment in the theatre was pretty good. Most nights had 2 show times. Itinerary was good and getting off at each port was organized and fast. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I have always wanted to go on a cruise, I saved money for a long time, in order to take my daughter on this cruise. I had been given very high expectations from family and friends who have cruised, regarding the level of service that I ... Read More
I have always wanted to go on a cruise, I saved money for a long time, in order to take my daughter on this cruise. I had been given very high expectations from family and friends who have cruised, regarding the level of service that I could expect and the quality of the food. My first disappointment was when we were met at Venice airport by Royal Caribbean staff, who told us that we had to wait half an hour for our transfer to the ship. The staff were rather abrupt and rude. When we got off the transport at the quay side, we were directly across from the ship, however we were told that we had to carry our own suitcases off the coach and take them to the crew who were about 10 paces away from us, in order for them to be delivered to our cabins. I felt that the staff should have got our luggage off the coach for us, given the supposed high quality of service that is allegedly offered. My experience of embarkation was of being herded like cattle by very rude staff. I booked an inside cabin because I was advised that they are very and that I wouldn’t spend much time in it anyway, my first impression was that it was dingy and dark. As the week progressed, we got used to the cabin, although we wished I had booked an outside cabin. There was adequate wardrobe and storage space and the bathroom was fine, it just felt too compact. The food in the main restaurant and the buffet restaurant was average, possibly the standard that you would expect to get in a three star hotel. The food in the fine dining restaurants was excellent, however it cost an additional 40 Dollars for each meal. The service at the bars eas slow, it took an average of ten minutes to get a drink, when the bar was empty, the staff would start getting my drink and then wander off and do something else and then come back to give me my drink. Waiter service for drinks was even worse, taking up to half an hour from ordering the drink to actually getting it. The entertainment was abysmal, I was expecting West end style shows but I certainly didn’t get anything like that, it was very disappointing as it was a film or the cruise staff putting on an amateur tshow. In all honesty, I think that the entertainment at Butlins was much better. Both the indoor and outdoor pools were freezing and I wasn’t able to use them, the jacuzzis were very nice. The main areas of the ship were lovely, particularly the atrium. I wouldn’t recommend the Rapsody of the seas to anyone, generally the service was atrocious, half of the staff were pleasant and the other half were downright rude. A member of staff informed me that his tips have halved over the last ten years, I informed him that I am surprised that anyone tips this poor level of service. If you fancy a trip on Rapsody of the seas, my advice is to try Butlins, the service, entertainment and food are far better. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Awesome service awesome itinerary outdated ship. Not much onboard activity. Food quality wasn’t the best. We wound up eating at specialty dining 4 of the 7 nights. The specialty dining was awesome and thank goodness for that. The ... Read More
Awesome service awesome itinerary outdated ship. Not much onboard activity. Food quality wasn’t the best. We wound up eating at specialty dining 4 of the 7 nights. The specialty dining was awesome and thank goodness for that. The customer service was superb. All employees went above and beyond to make you feel welcome. The internet was pretty good up until our last day. This is an older ship so it lacks some of the amenities we are used to. Also the live music catered to. Much much older crowd. Overall I’d say it was a good cruise because we had an awesome itinerary. This ship definitely would not be my first choice but it would not be my last either. Maybe during the next refurbishment the rhapsody will get a few bells and whistles and also an updated windjammer menu. Lord it was chicken every day lol. Chops was worth every penny. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We are just back from a 7 night cruise around the Greek Islands onboard Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. All in all, it was a very pleasant cruise but there were definetly one or two things that could have been improved upon. ... Read More
We are just back from a 7 night cruise around the Greek Islands onboard Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas. All in all, it was a very pleasant cruise but there were definetly one or two things that could have been improved upon. We embarked in Venice and stayed the night beforehand in the Hilton Garden Inn Venice Mestre. This was very reasonably priced and in a perfectly fine location for getting from the airport and then to the port. There was a bus stop at the entrance to the hotel. Here we boarded a bus and it dropped us off at Piazzale Roma. From here we got the People Mover to the cruise port. All in all, this cost us just 3 Euros pp (1.50 for the bus and 1.50 for the People Mover.) Embarkation was very smooth. From our arrival at the luggage drop off point until stepping onto the ship, the whole process took less than 20 minutes. The luggage handlers/check-in staff/security staff were all friendly ad we found this to be the easiest embarkation we’ve had for any cruise so far. Venice is a BEAUTIFUL city to sail out of. Make sure you are outside for this. The sun had set by the time sail-out came, but Venice is still lovely to look at in the evening. The first port of call was Kotor in Montenegro. The sail-in was spectacular. Would happily return to view this sail-in again! Everywhere you looked, seemed like it could be a postcard picture! We spent the afternoon just meandering through the streets in Kotor. Up next was Corfu. We had a very short stop here, however. We arrived around 8am and all aboard was at 1.30pm. We decided to book the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour. On leaving the harbour terminal, it was just a short walk to the bus. In all honesty, there wasn’t an awful lot to this bus tour. We got off in the Old Town and spent some time perusing the shops and having a snack in a café. We then boarded another bus and returned to the ship. Next up for us was Piraeus, which is the port of Athens. We booked a sightseeing tour through Royal Caribbean. We rarely book with the ship but this excursion was a steal of £35. Too book independently wasn’t that much cheaper. This tour showed us the various sights in the city, and provided us the opportunity to stop for photos and browse some shops. All in all, it was a very enjoyable day on shore. The penultimate port of call was Mykonos. This is a real beautiful island. It was an extremely windy day which made coming in by tender VERY bumpy. There were some lovely shops, bars and cafés to peruse, and of course visit the windmills. They really are lovely to look at. Our final port of call was Argostoli in Kefalonia. This was the port of call I was least looking forward to beforehand. We did not spend long on land here. We browsed some shops but then returned to the ship fairly quickly. The weather wasn’t great this day – it was a lot cooler and rain showers. So on to the ship – Rhapsody of the Seas was on the whole a pleasant ship. The crew were tremendous. We had the best stateroom attendant that we have ever had. Our inside room was spacious enough for the two of us and there was plenty of storage. The Centrum was spectacular to look at and was seven decks high I believed. It was a nice place to gather for entertainment in the evening. The adult only Solarium was a really nice space. There was always plenty of seat/loungers available and the pool was reasonably quiet throughout. The food we received in the Edelweiss MDR was good-very good. The service was brilliant. Our waiter was attentive and remembered so many details about us throughout the week. There was always plenty of empty tables and chairs and in the Windjammer Buffet. Some not so positive notes: The Windjammer Buffet…oh dear oh dear…the food wasn’t good here. There wasn’t much in terms of variety and the food was often cold and lacked flavour. The layout of the buffet is also problematic. It sort of in a spiral in the middle of the space. This made the area around the food very cramped and crowded at times. The décor was also a bit out of date. Something circa 1985 I think! The centrum, whilst spectacular to look at, could become very crowded at night. There was limited seating and limited space to seat. If you are going to something in the Centrum, get there early. The theatre, whilst very comfortable and spacious for a ship this size, was very out of fashion. It needs a makeover fast. The adult-only Solarium also suffers from a logistical flaw. The Park Café is located within the Solarium. This means that children are able to walk through the Solarium to get to the Park Café. They can also sit within the Solarium as they eat. Again, not the best layout here from Royal Caribbean! All in all, it was a really great cruise and we really enjoyed it. The itinerary was exciting for us – we had never been to any of these places. I would happily return to Kotor and Mykonos again. The ship was ok, but had a few issues, as I’ve listed above. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The locations is why we picked this cruise. There was alot we liked and some we did not. The ship is old and worn It is small.. We had a Junior Suite with a balcony. Embarkation and disembarkation went very well. We bought deluxe ... Read More
The locations is why we picked this cruise. There was alot we liked and some we did not. The ship is old and worn It is small.. We had a Junior Suite with a balcony. Embarkation and disembarkation went very well. We bought deluxe dining and beverage packages. We did not do any excursions we explored on our own. That was wonderful. We walked allover and loved it. We visited Mykonos, Argostoli, Corfu and Athens. We ate in all of the specialty restaurants and they were good. The beverage was definitely worth it. All of the bottled water soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. Definitely way to go. Entertainment was great.Illusionist Raven was amazing!!! Great show. sit up close. Band called Elements were amazing!! The staff were awesome!! Everyone super nice and attentive. Monica at the Schooner Bar always remembered us!! Great!! Sheila from Chop House was super helpful and nice!! The medical staff took care of a minor health issue superbly. The hair stylist was amazing although the spa manager was horrible. He brought it down from 5 star to 4. I did tell the guest services and not sure anything ever came of it. Avoid him and get the stylist services are worth it. I cannot remember her name but she is the best. Great cruise minus that one staff member. The locations were great. Seven day cruise out of Venice. We stayed a couple days before the cruise. That was awesome!! I recommend the cruise because of the ports but be ready for an old and small ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were looking for an itinerary that sails from Venice so this was a perfect fit. While exploring the options we found the only cabin available was aft facing balcony and we grabbed it. We reached venice two days before the sailing ... Read More
We were looking for an itinerary that sails from Venice so this was a perfect fit. While exploring the options we found the only cabin available was aft facing balcony and we grabbed it. We reached venice two days before the sailing shaken with the news of floods in venice. We reached during high tide and were advised at the ticket booth to take alilaguna water taxi to reach San Mark Square. San Mark square was flooded (the water was just below knee length) and our hotel was just behind the square. We had to buy disposable rain shoes (10 euros each) and hire a porter (for 30 euros) for the laguage. We we were all settled by evening. Water had receded and venice was more beautiful. We had a stroll on the square and the waterfront. Had an amazing seafood pizza at Leoncini. Next morning we had walking tour of venice, Basilica de san marco and Doge's Palace. Afternoon there was gondola ride. Evening we took a one and half hour ride on vaporetto line 2. It covered grand canal even better than gondola and also gave us a glimpse of the harbour. Next morning we arrived at venice harbour. The check in process was smooth and quick. Cabin/ stateroom: We were in aft facing balcony room no. 7656. It was spacious stateroom with huge balcony. The attendant Daisy was helpful. Dining: Windjammer cafe the buffet restaurant had variety of food. However, we felt that they close it very early (around 10 pm) and start winding up much before that. Fine Dining Edelweiss Fine Dining restaurant had good Indian menu and the captain Paras served us well. Embarkation was smooth and hustle free. On-board activities were ok. They showed some good movies on the big screen every evening but it was too cold to sit outside. We took the shore excursions from Royal caribbean. We loved Melissani (Argostoli) and Lipa (Montenegro) Caves. Many activities and restaurants were closed due to off season. Disembarkation was very smooth and we got off at our convenient time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Good food. That's the positives out of the way. Rooms small. Accommodation deck stank of poo. Shows were god-awful ending with a finale of a guy on a bmx bike cycling round in circles. Utterly naff. Busy ship with nowhere to chill out ... Read More
Good food. That's the positives out of the way. Rooms small. Accommodation deck stank of poo. Shows were god-awful ending with a finale of a guy on a bmx bike cycling round in circles. Utterly naff. Busy ship with nowhere to chill out without others stepping on your toes. Mediterranean cruise so why were subjected to Caribbean music every day? Felt like we were given a hard sell all the time. Pool small, looks big but the sides were shallow to make it look big. Don't expect to get a cocoa cola or any other fizzy drink unless you are prepared to pay for the soft drinks package. What a con. Hated it. Gave one star for the food. We didn't have enough time in Venice. It was foggy so the harbour was shut so our itinery all went to pot. Not the cruises fault but we were corralled into a warehouse with no food or drink. Every body was fed up Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I have always wanted to go on a cruise, I saved money for a long time, in order to take my daughter on this cruise. I had been given very high expectations from family and friends who have cruised, regarding the level of service that I ... Read More
I have always wanted to go on a cruise, I saved money for a long time, in order to take my daughter on this cruise. I had been given very high expectations from family and friends who have cruised, regarding the level of service that I could expect and the quality of the food. My first disappointment was when we were met at Venice airport by Royal Caribbean staff, who told us that we had to wait half an hour for our transfer to the ship. The staff were rather abrupt and rude. When we got off the transport at the quay side, we were directly across from the ship, however we were told that we had to carry our own suitcases off the coach and take them to the crew who were about 10 paces away from us, in order for them to be delivered to our cabins. I felt that the staff should have got our luggage off the coach for us, given the supposed high quality of service that is allegedly offered. My experience of embarkation was of being herded like cattle by very rude staff. I booked an inside cabin because I was advised that they are very and that I wouldn’t spend much time in it anyway, my first impression was that it was dingy and dark. As the week progressed, we got used to the cabin, although we wished I had booked an outside cabin. There was adequate wardrobe and storage space and the bathroom was fine, it just felt too compact. The food in the main restaurant and the buffet restaurant was average, possibly the standard that you would expect to get in a three star hotel. The food in the fine dining restaurants was excellent, however it cost an additional 40 Dollars for each meal. The service at the bars eas slow, it took an average of ten minutes to get a drink, when the bar was empty, the staff would start getting my drink and then wander off and do something else and then come back to give me my drink. Waiter service for drinks was even worse, taking up to half an hour from ordering the drink to actually getting it. The entertainment was abysmal, I was expecting West end style shows but I certainly didn’t get anything like that, it was very disappointing as it was a film or the cruise staff putting on an amateur tshow. In all honesty, I think that the entertainment at Butlins was much better. Both the indoor and outdoor pools were freezing and I wasn’t able to use them, the jacuzzis were very nice. The main areas of the ship were lovely, particularly the atrium. I wouldn’t recommend the Rapsody of the seas to anyone, generally the service was atrocious, half of the staff were pleasant and the other half were downright rude. A member of staff informed me that his tips have halved over the last ten years, I informed him that I am surprised that anyone tips this poor level of service. If you fancy a trip on Rapsody of the seas, my advice is to try Butlins, the service, entertainment and food are far better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our agent recommended this ship as we wanted to travel to Santorini and also see Croatia. It was truly a fantastic experience. The ship was lovely and the staff couldn't do enough for you. The food was fantastic and the cabin was ... Read More
Our agent recommended this ship as we wanted to travel to Santorini and also see Croatia. It was truly a fantastic experience. The ship was lovely and the staff couldn't do enough for you. The food was fantastic and the cabin was wonderful - our room steward was incredible. Entertainment was good - some funny trivia games organized by Elvis and Tanya were a lot of fun. We couldn't get over the attentiveness of the crew - they were all amazing. We did our own excursions as the ones through the ship were a little costly. Very easy to do your own as at each port there were people there selling different day trips - like Hop N Off bus tours that worked well in the ports. Our embarkation and disembarkation was really easy and no issues at all. It was very quick and smooth. The dining room in Edelweiss had amazing food and great service; the buffet in the Windjammer was awesome - so much food to choose from; we went to the Chops Grille and had the most amazing meal. We also went to the Giovannis table restaurant - also had a good meal there. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I booked this cruise because of the cruise ports (depart from Venice and sail to Dubrovnik Croatia, Kotor Montenegro, Santorini and Katakalon Greece). Hiking the fortress in Kotor was my favorite. Unfortunately there was a storm so the ... Read More
I booked this cruise because of the cruise ports (depart from Venice and sail to Dubrovnik Croatia, Kotor Montenegro, Santorini and Katakalon Greece). Hiking the fortress in Kotor was my favorite. Unfortunately there was a storm so the itinerary changed slightly (Split Croatia replaced Dubrovnik). Captain Tobias kept us safe on Night 2 when the storm came. He sailed towards the Greek islands to shelter. The weather in Katakalon and Santorini was sunny so it did not impact my sightseeing. There was rain in Kotor and Split which impacted my plans. It was not Royal Caribbean’s fault and I knew it was a risk when booking Oct/Nov in Europe. Embarkation and disembarkation were fast and organize. The ship and cabin were older compared to all the new ships but I knew that when booking. It was always clean and staff worked extra hard to make me feel welcome. Some of the entertainments were good (country, love and marriage game, cirque, bingo, trivia). The dining room looked elegant and fancy. Food was great, sometimes a little too fancy for me so I went to the buffet a couple of times which had varieties. I bought a case of sparkling water to try and I realized I did not like it. Customer service was easy and refunded right away. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Sailed with my elderly parents and husband. We paid for assistance as my father is in a wheelchair although this was non existent. Service in the bars was extremely slow and staff in certain bars down to 1 bar man. Food was good ... Read More
Sailed with my elderly parents and husband. We paid for assistance as my father is in a wheelchair although this was non existent. Service in the bars was extremely slow and staff in certain bars down to 1 bar man. Food was good can not complain plenty of variety. Ship is looking tired now furniture in the solarium tatty and worn. The ports of call were very good. Beware if you buy any cigarettes on the ship they will let you buy as many as you wish without notifying you of the port of country rules. This i feel is unfair as we only purchased 400 each and then Venice port control took 200 each as you are only allowed 200 each. I know we should have known too but surely RCL could notify guests when purchasing. Entertainment was rubbish most guests were commenting on this who we spoke to during the week just not up to RCL standard. Time to try another cruise line. Avoid 3583 very noisy could not go to bed before 12 as right below centrium Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Whilst I saw some of the most amazing ports in the world. I was not so impressed with the cruise and its staff. Even thought our party of four all had MY TIME DINING, this was treated with complication for the staff, they had difficulty ... Read More
Whilst I saw some of the most amazing ports in the world. I was not so impressed with the cruise and its staff. Even thought our party of four all had MY TIME DINING, this was treated with complication for the staff, they had difficulty every night trying to find us table. And even once seated and orders takes we were moved again, only to be returned to the original table. Dinner was very disruptive and disorganised. The food was nice but after a while it all tasted bland. The table service was hit and miss, the waiters did not listen to your orders and dinner was rarely had with out a hitch. The staff were always apologetic, however this did not change the the service. We had Francesco asking us how this could improve and when we started to tell him, announced free Fillet Mignon for all, however we did not get to enjoy it, as we had a show to attend so meals ran late and took a long time, even though we stated we had a show to go to. WINDJAMMER FOOD was tasteless and disgusting, I was always feeling ill when I ate there. But I had to as the Dinning room was not open early enough on some mornings. The beauty spa was a horrendous, I had a 7:45pm appointment that I was running 10 minutes early for, I was told that I was running 5 minutes late and that I was not able to have the appointment now. I showed them my appointment docket and they still insisted that I was late and that they could still charge me for the appointment. They were not hospitable and they did nothing to rectify any issues . NEVER AGAIN!! I was trying to book into the Murder Mystery night and staff booked me into the captains table instead. Staff just did not listen to anything. The lifts were weird, they would only allow 2 to pick people up from all floors whilst 3 would remain empty or next to empty and the 2 that were picking up people were full. SOLARIUM Astor this place which is very inviting, but unfortunately people would leave there stuff on chairs from sun up to sun down, even when there weren't using them. So didn't take advantage of that space much. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
For our 30th wedding anniversary last summer, we'd planed a Southern Caribbean cruise while on our Alaska cruise in 2016. However, we had to cancel that cruise, so we decided to go "all out" for our 31st wedding anniversary ... Read More
For our 30th wedding anniversary last summer, we'd planed a Southern Caribbean cruise while on our Alaska cruise in 2016. However, we had to cancel that cruise, so we decided to go "all out" for our 31st wedding anniversary with a 9-night Greek Isles tour that included two ports in Italy. Shortly after putting a deposit down on our cruise, we received offers in the mail from Delta Air Lines for American Express Skymiles cards that included 60,000 miles which, if we spent an additional amount per card would give us enough miles to fly roundtrip to Rome in Comfort+ class, which provides four extra inches of legroom to Coach. So, our flights were "free". I purchased an Orange Holiday SIM chip for my iPhone, which promised to provide us with plenty of data, call and texting capability throughout our trip. My spouse had planned and was well prepared with sanitary wipes, snacks and many other necessary items we'd need throughout our trip. SUNDAY It was our first time as passengers in Atlanta's 'new' International airport, and we were there 2+ hours early, which gave us time to thoroughly check it out before making our way to our gate: a lot of duty free shopping and some premium dining options. Just before boarding time, it was announced that there was a small issue with our plane, and it ended up delaying our departure about 30 minutes. With Sky priority boarding (a feature of Comfort+), we were able to board after all the wheelchair bound passengers were settled. We embarked from Atlanta on Sunday at 7:30 PM and landed in Rome on Monday at 10:45 AM, a little more than 9 hours total. Even with the extra legroom and somewhat better recline-able seats, neither of us were able to sleep during the flight. The most notable part of our flight was the quality and amount of food we were served; it was a lot of food and it was pretty good too. There were 9" diagonal video screens on the seatbacks in front of us and quite a large selection of movies etc. to choose from as well; I watched a longish Western when I wasn't trying unsuccessfully to sleep. I replaced my Verizon SIM with the purchased SIM so that my phone would ready upon arrival. When we landed in Rome, I turned on my phone and - although it took 20 minutes or so - it started working perfectly during the drive to port. MONDAY (Day 1 - 7,171 steps/2.6 miles/10 floors) It's been 19 years since we were in the Rome, and the last time we stayed in the city for 3 days before our cruise out of the nearby port of Civitavecchia. This time we prearranged a Civitavecchia Cab Service private pickup for each way between the port and Rome's Fiumicino (FCO) airport. The distance is about 47 miles and it took under an hour each time. I'm afraid I didn't fully understand the instructions we'd received via email about where to meet our driver, but we did eventually find him. I left my spouse "inside" with all our luggage while I exited the terminal. An initially very helpful police officer helped me to locate the "white column" meeting point where there were a slew of drivers holding up name placards. However, he would not let me reenter the terminal to retrieve my spouse and our luggage. Fortunately, she was able to see me when the sliding doors were open and I was able to signal to her to bring the luggage - which took two trips - and join me. We located our driver and, as we followed him through the labyrinth of hallways, stairs and parking lot to his vehicle, it appeared that he knew everyone we passed along the way. Having no Euros as yet, I asked our driver if he could take me by an ATM on the way to the ship, and he stopped at one in the port city. Once we got to the port, we tipped the driver, went inside and found two lines. Which one should we get in? I went one way, my spouse went the other and we determined that I needed to take both big bags with tags to the luggage drop while we carried our carryon bags (2 each) through the metal detectors towards check-in. Up the escalator, we had to fill out declaration forms and carry them to the appropriate queue (no waiting for suites guests!). We made our way onboard by about 1 PM and since our suite wasn't going to be ready until after 2 PM, we went to the Windjammer cafe to eat lunch. Of course, everyone else on the ship was doing the same thing, and so it was very crowded. As I'd read on Cruise Critic, one of Jewel's best features is the back-of-the-ship covered outdoor dining seating area. So we made our way there to find seats, which took a couple of times around, before making our way one-at-a-time through the buffets. The food was pretty good and, throughout the cruise, I can confirm that it was better than it was on our last cruise - Adventure in Alaska - and also in the main dining room, which was very good. After lunch we went upstairs and noticed that the Sports Deck was empty, so we dropped our bags and relaxed on the comfortable lounges there while waiting for our room to be ready. Our Junior Suite (1570) wasn't far from the Windjammer, one flight down in the back third of the ship on the port side. In fact, above our room was buffet seating which means occasionally we heard footsteps through the ceiling. The room was much as we've come to expect, the right size and amenities for us as we have usually chosen these accommodations for our cruises. In short order we met Denis, our cabin attendant for whom my spouse had a gift, and some special Royal Gifts were delivered: champagne, truffles and chocolate covered strawberries. As part of the "Decadent Romance" package, we were also supposed to get a dozen long stemmed roses, but after a couple of days of waiting I found out that there were no fresh flowers onboard, so I opted to receive credit back on my card. If I'd have been quicker on my feet, I probably couldn't have gotten us "free" Wi-Fi instead. Next, we explored the ship and remarked at how similar it was to Enchantment, which we'd taken to the Bahamas three years prior. It has a Centrum in lieu of a Promenade deck and our room was fairly conveniently located to it without being too close to hear the nightly dance music parties it hosts. There isn't really anything remarkable able Jewel's amenities, especially when you've been on Royal's bigger ships, except the aforementioned Windjammer's outdoor seating. That's not to say that it doesn't have plenty of things to do on a sea day; this cruise had two, which also served as formal nights, and we were certainly not bored with all the available activities and things to do. With the sun positioned about an hour before sunset, we enjoyed a beautiful embarkation from the port of Civitavecchia from Deck 12, above the pool, with most of the other passengers onboard. Still "up" from the night before, it was getting too difficult for us to stay awake for our Tides (Main) Dining Room seating at 8:30 PM; we found this out while lounging in the Solarium until about 7:15 PM. So we headed to the Windjammer to eat our first dinner on ship, and then returned to our suite to crash for the night. Obviously we didn't attend the 'Welcome' show in the ship's theater, something we never miss. TUESDAY (Day 2 - 9,128 steps/3.5 miles/18 floors) Fortunately, the next port was Messina, Sicily, with a ship docking time of 11 AM. That means we could sleep in, get up and enjoy a leisurely breakfast in Windjammer (WJ) and return to our suite's balcony to watch while the ship entered the port. It was a beautiful clear morning and we thoroughly enjoyed it. I wrote a Tripadvisor review of our excursion in Sicily, so I'll link to that here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g187889-d2615234-r628178197-Sicily_With_Mario-Messina_Province_of_Messina_Sicily.html Watching from our suite's balcony the ship's departure from the port of Sicily was magical, glorious in fact. Since our captain has spun the ship upon our arrival that morning, the starboard side was next to the pier which meant our docked view overlooked the Madonnina. At night, she was spectacularly lit. As a bonus, only two miles away across the expanse, we could see the lights on the tip of the boot of Italy. We watched as our ship traveled north out of the port and then steered south towards Greece so that we could then see the night-lit Messina and much more of Sicily as well. With Sicily to our right, the waxing half moon was brilliant in the clear sky up to our left. Arm-in-arm we watched as a shooting star streaked by for several seconds, changing from blue to green, yellow, orange and red in a flash before disappearing. Thank you God! We debated going to the show that night - Tenors Unlimited - and thought we'd decide during dinner whether to go afterwards or not. Turns out dinner ran through the show, so we missed it. For the first time, we were seated at a Main Dining Room (MDR) table with others that we didn't previously know. Our table of eight had only four others, most nights, a couple of women traveling together without their husbands and mother with her son. We really enjoyed getting to know each of them throughout the cruise, discussing our excursions and activities, while we were served efficiently by Mario (from the Philippines) and his assistant Davor (from Montenegro). As I wrote earlier, the food was very good, sometimes outstanding and never just good. I usually opted for the beef or steak option, and unfortunately we missed the salmon (which was the first night). The appetizers, especially the crab and seafood cakes, were great and the desserts - we usually chose the chocolate option - were terrific as well. More times than not, I went with our head waiter's recommendations, and he never steered me wrong, but I've always wondered whether the waiters' recommendations are based on what didn't 'sell' well during the first MDR seating. Didn't matter, it was mostly excellent. WEDNESDAY (Day 3 - 6,109 steps/2.2 miles/35 floors) Our first of two sea days began as always with breakfast in the Windjammer. There was a program in the theater about the Shore Excursions offered for the remaining ports, which we attended even though we had plans already for all the ports except Mykonos, which was to be our first stop in Greece. We checked out other parts of the ship including the Solarium's hot tub and lunched - again, in the WJ. Later that day, while we were lounging in the sun on Deck 12, there was announcement that - because of crew member's emergency - our ship would be stopping in Athens first instead. We decided to beat the crowds to Deck 4 to talk with the Shore Excursions staff to see how our planned ship excursion in Athens - Highlights of Athens/Small Group - might be affected. She assured us that our excursion would be rebooked for Thursday (in lieu of Sunday as originally planned). At 5 PM, we went to the Vortex for the Meet & Mingle gathering and watched while four of the five bottles of wine or champagne were raffled off to passengers that had been with us on our Sicily with Mario tour the day before, one of whom announced that their planned private excursion in Athens had been successfully rebooked. After talking with others at the party, we returned to our suite to start getting ready for the first formal night. At about 7:15 PM that evening, my spouse noticed a flashing light on our cabin's phone. It was a voicemail that informed us, since there were already four ships in the port of Athens on Thursday, none of Royal's shore excursions could be rebooked and therefore all of them had been cancelled. We found out that there would be a representative from a "Hop on, Hop off" bus company in the Centrum at 8 AM to sell tickets that could be put on your room's bill, but otherwise we were on our own. This was obviously a disappointment, and we discussed several options including trying to hook up with the Meet & Mingle group, if there was still room on their tour. Ultimately we decided that we could utilize the Rick Steves' audio tours I had previously downloaded to my iPhone with the "Hop on, Hop off" bus option. We went down to the Centrum to have our pictures taken with the captain and another photographer before enjoying another meal in the MDR. Also that night, we enjoyed our first show in the Coral Theatre, which was excellent, a program called City of Dreams which showcased the singing, dancing and orchestral talents of the ship's ensemble. THURSDAY (Day 4 - 18,042 steps/6.6 miles/19 floors) I discovered that my iPhone had a message displayed on it which indicated that the cellular function had failed, that an update needed to be downloaded before it would work. I was unable to resolve the issue and - since I thought that the SIM may have corrupted my phone, I didn't want to 'infect' my spouse's phone with it. After getting up early to eat breakfast in the WJ, we were determined to be the first ones in line to buy "Hop on, Hop off" bus passes. We then walked off the ship and - after getting some assistance - located the two deck yellow (Gray line) bus and found seats in front on the top "open" level. We received ear buds which when plugged into the multi-language ports on bus provided an audio description of what one was seeing while the bus drove from the port of Piraeus into Athens. When the speaker wasn't narrating, there was a louder Greek music playing on the audio. The bus had Wi-Fi, which I was able to use to get reconnected to the Internet yet still not resolve the cellular phone error. Unfortunately, I soon learned - from the heat in my pocket - that my iPhone was rapidly losing its charge, so I shut it off. Later, I noticed that it was still hot and that shutting down the phone had done nothing to slow the battery's declining charge percentage. From then on during our trip, after recharging it overnight, I was able to use my phone on our excursions to take pictures for about 3-4 hours each day before its battery would totally discharge. We arrived at the bus's first significant stopping point - the Acropolis - about the time that every other bus and excursion must have gotten there. Lots of people made the famed outcropping look like an ant hill crawling with insects. We bought our tickets, paying an extra 10 Euros for admission to several other sites (none of which we ended up seeing) and made our way up the path with the hordes. After making our way up and through the people and countless tour groups to a point where we finally had a view of the Parthenon, it was apparent that not having a guide was keeping us from fully appreciating what we were seeing. I took out my phone and ear buds and was able to get Rick Steves' program playing in my ear, but after several minutes realized that this wasn't going to work very well given the fading battery life and the loud crowds which made hearing the audio difficult. However, I did manage to hear that we'd already missed seeing Mars Hill, which he described as a scraggly rock to the left of the ticket booth below. Ignorant of what we were seeing, while we walked around the Acropolis, I decided to at least take a picture of every informational placard so that I could at least read about it later (at this writing, I still haven't had time). We were amazed at how vast the city of Athens is, surrounding the Acropolis like a sea of white buildings. From our perch, we could also see many of the other historic sites - without knowing what they were - in the immediate areas around and below. After taking lots of pictures, we traveled back down and to the right to find the Areopagus aka Mars Hill. We scaled the original steps and took in the elevated view afforded from the rock, which is spectacular in its own right and only exceeded by the views from the Acropolis itself. Returning to the bottom, we first got back on the bus to travel to the Acropolis museum until we were able to understand the driver who said that it was only a short way down a wide walkway (she pointed towards the front and left). I'd listened to Steves' audio regarding the museum - which is built atop an archeological dig site! - a few months prior and remembered his enthusiasm for it, an enthusiasm I now share. We paid a modest admission charge and had to check our backpacks before entering. The museum's entrance hall contains many artifacts and leads upwards towards the second floor - one can climb steps or take an elevator - where there is a plethora of excavated statues and other objects each with an informative placard about its history etc. At first, I was being diligent about seeing (and reading about) every piece, until I realized that I could be there for hours. We eventually made our way up escalators to the middle area of the third floor where we watched a very informative video in English; it ran again with English subtitles. We then discovered that the area around the outside on that floor was a recreation of the Parthenon itself, including some of the original Parthenon marbles: pediment, metopes, and frieze. One can see the Parthenon atop the Acropolis out the north museum windows. All in all, an illuminating and fascinating display of the ancient Temple of Athena. We walked back on the same pedestrian street - the Dionysiou Areopagitou - to our bus, which we then rode around the city loop for between almost 90 minutes, listening to the audio descriptions of the various sites we saw from the bus including the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Panathenaic Stadium. By 3 PM, we were ready to return to the port of Piraeus and our ship. Throughout our bus ride we noted how crazy the traffic and drivers were - especially those on motorbikes - on the city streets, which sometimes resembled organized chaos. Off the bus, we walked back to the cruise terminal while being 'accosted' by various vendors or beggars, though not as bad as being in Jamaica. Our balcony - on the port side of the ship - was the perfect place to watch our departure from the port of Piraeus (and every other port) because we could watch as the All Onboard time approached and the quickened steps of those passengers who were just able to make it before the deadline. Unfortunately for some, perhaps because of the last minute port change, it appeared that a number of passengers were left in Piraeus, unable to make it back to the ship in time. Leaving the port, we had a beautiful sunset as well; it seemed as if the captain slowed the ship's turn for a while in order that we might fully enjoy it to completion. Later that night we went to the theatre to see Sean Alexander, a confusionist (magician), who impressed with various card tricks and other unbelievable (in many ways, too complex) stunts, before enjoying another meal in the MDR. FRIDAY (Day 5 - 18,224 steps/6.8 miles/57 floors; phone's date off, half of next day's count in total) We awoke to a view of the port of Rhodes (or Rhodos). I have to admit that pre-cruise I had low expectations for the island of Rhodes. However, we had signed up for an Historic Rhodes Walking Tour and it soon became clear that this was going to be one of the best experiences on our cruise; our guide Ioanna made it wonderful. She was so knowledgeable about the history of her native island, and was so proud of her heritage that it was infectious. Fortunately, we were each given ear-mounted headphone, which enabled us to hear everything she was saying without having to be at the front of our group, about 30 people. After a short walk from the ship along the shore and through the Virgin Gate of the Medieval City, we stopped and sat in the courtyard of the Church of Saint-Marie-du-Bourg, where she proceeded to tell us the history of Rhodes from Before Christ through World War II. We then walked to the Jewish Martyrs Square on our way through relatively empty streets - the shops were just starting to open - to the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes; Ioanna referred to the Knights of St. John. Before entering the palace, Ioanna made sure we looked down the Ippoton - the Avenue of the Knights - which was relatively empty when we got there. We were then the first group to enter the Palace, its grand courtyard showcasing eight marble statues. She then walked us up its grand staircase - featured in the movie The Guns of Navarone (1961) - and into a series of large and small rooms, each of which had historical (or authentic recreations of) floor frescos, furniture, and other artwork from the medieval period. Ioanna related that she and her brother used to play in the castle as children, her brother locking her in one room in the dark in an attempt to scare her and, keeping silent, she hid for hours until crying out so that family members could locate her. Exiting the Palace, we noticed how full of people it now was, as was the Ippoton, which we traversed on our way to the Archeological Museum. Ioanna gave us a comprehensive tour of the artwork there, demonstrating and describing the evolution of the artists' techniques from the more primitive ages through the Renaissance influences. At our tour's end about 12:30 PM, we decided to make our way back to the ship for lunch, planning to return for shopping that afternoon. What a great day! We also bought 24 hours of Wi-Fi to reconnect with our family; it was available until through Saturday afternoon, after that day's excursion. We skipped the Crown & Anchor Club party, which we only usually attend to see if we'll win one of the raffle items. That night we saw one of the showcase singers Claire-Charlotte try her best to perform various "Women of Rock n Roll" classic hits, an ambitious attempt to be sure, before heading to the MDR. After dinner, we saw the Love & Marriage Game Show which is always good. The oldest couple won, as usual, and ironically the newlywed's MDR table was adjacent to ours. SATURDAY (Day 6 - 9,140 steps/3.3 miles/29 floors) Getting up early for our most anticipated stop and tour - Island of Santorini and Village of Oia - we had our one and only tender port; we met in the theater with all the other tour groups and were assigned to group 3 of 10 for our tour. Although we probably could've managed the island on our own, we booked a tour to ensure an early arrival on the island, and I think it paid off. Instead of tendering to port below the capital city Thera aka Fira, where one has a choice between donkeys, their path or cable cars up to Fira, our tender went to the Athinios, where we took a tour bus trip up a perilous switchback onto a main 'ridge' road and various others all the way to the famously picturesque cliff-side town of Oia, at the northwest tip of the (reverse C-shaped) island. We were the only ship in port and perhaps the first tour bus there, so we had relatively crowd-free experience as we walked Oia's narrow pedestrian-only, shop-lined streets, which wind around and provide various offshoots that drop off to the left or rise to the right before providing another array of choices (some even traverse down to the coast itself). Our "guide" (more of a wrangler, really) started us at the (Church of) Panagia Platsani, and directed us to take either the main street to the left (east) or to the right (west) with no further instruction other than to not venture off the main street. She said that the streets were designed to frustrate invaders and were therefore confusing on purpose. We were fortunate to go to the right because we were able to make our way all the way to the point of the coast where spectacular overlooks are available, in the time allotted. We also had time to go a little way to the left before having to return to our rendezvous point by the appointed time. We took selfies and offered to take other couples' pictures for them (they counter offered for us) and ran across several professional photographers that were taking newlyweds and brides etc. photos with various angles of the town as their background. We ventured into shops but did very little shopping because of the limited time. After returning to the bus as a group, we then traveled to Santo Winery where we enjoyed breathtaking views while sampling three kinds of wine, cheese and olives. Afterwards, we took the short drive to Fira, which is similarly situated on a cliff's edge and also features narrow, shop-lined pedestrian streets along the ridgeline overlooking the caldera shaped island, and our ship. We had the option of returning the same way we'd come (by bus and tender) or staying in Fira to shop and wander but then having to make our own way back to the tender port below either by donkey path or cable car. We opted to return with everyone else by bus. We had a beautiful departure to watch from our balcony as we 'silently' slipped by Fira and Oia on our way to Mykonos for our last Greek port of call. We skipped the show that night - Tango Buenos Aires - but did stop by the Centrum after dinner to see the entertaining 50's & 60's Rock 'n' Roll party start. My spouse rescued me just before one of the cruise staffers was able to grab my arm to pull me onto the dance floor! We enjoyed watching it from several floors above instead. SUNDAY (Day 7 - 6,422 steps/2.4 miles/19 floors) Mykonos was the port of the day and since we didn't have an excursion planned, and had gotten up for a 7 AM meet time the prior three consecutive days, we decided to sleep in, have a leisurely breakfast, and then get off the ship on our own. As it turns out, the smallest of the Greek Islands used to have a tender-only port. The new port which we used, however, required us to buy a 4 Euro roundtrip ferry ride - or walk 3 miles on the side of a road without sidewalks - to get into town. Great deal for the ferry company - and Royal Caribbean who has effectively offloaded the tender cost to its customers. In any case, we decided that Mykonos would have been a great first port in Greece as had been planned, but wasn't as exciting as our last Greek destination. Other than its windmills, four of which are in a row at its western coastal tip, there isn't anything particularly unique or special about Mykonos when compared to the other destinations (especially the day after Santorini). It's a quaint little seaside town with a labyrinth of pedestrian, shop- and restaurant-lined walkways (sound familiar?). Plus, it was annoying to not be able to readily find a public W/C to use, especially having to pay 1 Euro to do so! I think we only spent a couple of hours there before returning by ferry to our ship. Before heading to the show, we walked through the WJ, not that we were hungry but they usually have theme nights so we thought we'd check it out. Good thing we did because we discovered the Chocolate Buffet Bar! Wow, so many delicious desserts. We grabbed some chocolate mousse, which was in champagne flutes, and a few other delicacies and decided we'd return after our MDR dinner for more. The show that night was Tracey Shield, who performed as "An Evening with Celine Dion", and she was hilarious as a very good impersonator, had all the singer's quirky mannerisms down and a very talented spot on singing voice as well. During dinner, we mentioned the Chocolate Dessert Bar to the others and learned that the WJ was closing at 9 PM, so they'd missed it. One at our table asked if there were chocolate covered strawberries offered in the WJ and, when we said yes, asked our head waiter's supervisor if we could have some delivered to the MDR. She promised a full plate for the table the next night, and she delivered not one but two plates to our table on Monday night! After dinner in the MDR, since the next day was a sea day anyway, we stayed up to watch the 70's Disco Inferno Dance Party with our Italian cruise director Andrea - very good - and the rest of the ship's Entertainment family. They had a Village People impersonation group that further energized the show, including dancing on the handrail of a Centrum glass elevator as it ascended from the floor to the topmost level. Crazy fun! We watched it all from seats above. MONDAY (Day 8 - 3,611 steps/1.3 miles/9 floors) Our last sea day was of course relaxing: we had breakfast in the MDR for once, did some shopping, my spouse attended a couple of the health and fitness classes in Vitality at Sea, played pool in the Games Reserve and the Fairways of Jewel (miniature golf), spent our casino's free spins (per our Emerald status) and played $5 of free blackjack per their promotion, enjoyed the Solarium's hot tub and snacks, sat out by the pool - they were running blooper videos on the big screen - took a nap, and then got dressed and ready for pictures early for the second formal night. We enjoyed the show in the theatre - West End to Broadway - and remarked about the many elaborate and colorful costumes employed by the show. After our meal in the MDR, we went to the Safari Club to witness the outrageous Quest Adult Game Show; it was amazing to us what people were willing to do so that their team could claim the honors. TUESDAY (Day 9 - 1,853 steps/.66 miles/5 floors; phone died before Pompeii) Up bright and early to meet in the Theatre for our last excursion - Taste of Sorrento & Pompeii - we soon learned that porting in Naples was delayed. Per our captain, the Regent's captain failed his first attempt to port that morning and - like dominoes - that backed up every other ship's schedule, including Jewel's. Initially, there were only three different excursion groups gathered at 7 AM but, as the delay continued to an hour, the theatre filled to capacity with all the other excursion groups. Some in ours speculated about what would have to be cut from our tour, but we soon learned that the All Onboard had been moved back an hour. The port of Naples appeared larger and older than any of the others we experienced during the cruise, and later our guide confirmed that our ship was docked very near the recently discovered 'original' port of Naples, below the currently operating port. We exited the ship and were soon on our bus. Our guide Giancarlo spoke very good English, is an archeologist employed by the Italian government by trade, and explained that he couldn't wait to be part of the excavation of the remaining 10,000 hectares of Pompeii (about a third of which had yet to be explored) once the existing ancient city's ruins had been fortified. We drove in lots of traffic, past Mount Vesuvius on our left with the Gulf of Naples on our right, through the small town of Castellammare di Stabia because of work on the main highway, and through several tunnels on our way south and around the bend to the west towards Sorrento. There were times when I was concerned that our bus driver was falling asleep, and Giancarlo seemed concerned too, prodding him on more than one occasion during the trip. After existing the last of the tunnels, as the coastline curved back to the left at Montechiaro, we were treated to a panoramic overlook of Piano di Sorrento, Sant'Agnello, and Sorrento below. Our first stop was actually a family farm - Agriturismo Fondo Galatea - and we had to exit our larger bus and board the farm's smaller bus to traverse a narrow one way street - the driver honking all the way - down to the facility. We walked down the driveway to enter a covered patio where tables were set up. There, we sampled fresh mozzarella cheese, bread and olive oil, olives, salami, wine and limoncello, all of which was delicious. While we ate, we witnessed a demonstration of how mozzarella takes shape and form in molds. We then walked further down the driveway to see where some of the products - such as the limoncello - are made, and also saw a tree that was growing both lemons and oranges. After the farm, we headed down the hill to Sorrento, but first stopped in a wood inlay factory (in the basement of the Lucky Store) and saw various beautiful, expensive pieces for sale. The two of us then ventured into the quaint city, walking through it to the coastline where we enjoyed several awesome views from near the Piazza della Vittoria and, as our guide suggested, the Villa Comunale, a park that overlooks beaches and the Port of Sorrento. We then made our way through the Piazza Sant'Antonino to the Piazza Tasso where we enjoyed an original Margherita pizza (thin crusted, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and basil leaves) at the Pizzeria Aurora. With limited time left before our group's rendezvous time, we walked too quickly down Via S. Cesareo and the Corso Italia for shopping (I stopped to sample some Gelato) before - getting help in - finding Via Antonino Sersale back to the Lucky Store. We all boarded the bus and headed back the same way we'd come from Naples that morning towards Pompeii. What struck me initially about Pompeii's Archeological Park was how it was located in an urban area: the city of Pompeii, which is indistinguishable from the surrounding area's towns with Google Earth. Yet here in the heart of Pompeii is this park which houses the ancient city, that was discovered and much of it has been uncovered after being buried by the volcanic ash and pumice from Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. I was also aware that it was now almost 3 PM and was concerned that our tour of Pompeii would be too short to get much from it, especially since our guide dropped us off in a Cameo factory while he went to buy our tickets. But my concerns were unwarranted as Giancarlo gave us an excellent tour of the ruins; I feel that we got a very comprehensive feel of the time, the people, their houses and shops, the class system, the public areas, baths, house of ill-repute, and infrastructure including the roads, their design for cleanliness, as well as the aqueducts and water system. While there were crowds, it probably wasn't as crowded as it had been earlier in the day, and in less than 3 hours I think we got an adequate understanding of it. We made it back to the ship around 6 PM, just 30 minutes from All Onboard (definitely our closest call for the cruise), and then had to walk through shops - and less security - in, up, down, and then around the outside of the port's terminal building before boarding the Jewel. While my spouse got ready for dinner, I remembered to go to the Business Center to print the boarding passes for our flight home, but was dismayed to discover that I'd have to buy at least 1 hour of Wi-Fi to do so! I decided to go to the Crown & Anchor Society Loyalty Desk where the attendant allowed me to use his computer to accomplish the task. Returning to our cabin to collect my spouse, we made our way to the Photo Gallery to choose which ones to buy from our formal nights before enjoying the Farewell in the theatre - Carlo Truzzi & Simona - who did a shadow show, their hands mimicking various wildlife and celebrities, set to music, and our last supper in the MDR, handing tip envelopes to our two waiters. WEDNESDAY (Day 10 - 5,849 steps/2.2 miles/3 floors) We opted for the walk-off-the-ship option; I had previously saved a couple of donuts and bananas (which took days to ripen) from the WJ for breakfast. After leaving an envelope for Denis, we departed with all our luggage and headed for the fourth floor. We actually had to get on the elevator going up if we ever expected to find room on one with all the passengers heading down from the WJ above. It wasn't clear from the instructions left in our room where we were supposed to meet, or that we couldn't actually get off the ship until 7 AM, but we found our way despite getting conflicting and incorrect information from two different Royal employees. Our driver was a few minutes late to pick us up, but just about the time another employee of the same company started to help, he showed up. It was the same driver, and he whisked us to Terminal 3 at the Rome airport, where we had to find our way first to Delta Air Lines and then through to the security line. After standing like sheep with everyone else for 20 minutes or so, when we got to the front we noticed the express line to the left and asked the airport employee whether the TSA PRE CHECK on our ticket meant we could use it. Using her own credentials on the ticket scan, she helped us skip the longer x-ray machine line by going through the Fast Pass on the left. We were amazed by the shopping mall like insides of the airport where you could buy virtually anything "duty-free", but proceeded on to our gate where we had 3+ hours until departure. I believe we could have made the 9:30 AM flight, but ours was at 12:45 PM. However, since the FCO airport had free Wi-Fi, at least we were able to get reconnected. No water fountains anywhere! Using the vending machines, 1.5 Euro/bottle, is better than buying bottles from the airport vendors for 3+ Euros. Thankful for our Sky priority boarding, we were able to board fairly quickly for our 11+ hour flight home. Again, sleeping was not possible so I watched four movies while receiving 3-4 different food services on the plane. It was almost 6 PM Atlanta time when we landed and we made it through customs, called the Park n Ride Plus shuttle, and when we finally arrived home it was 8 PM. ONE THING we didn't do on this cruise that we've done on the last couple is book our Next Cruise while onboard. For one, I noticed that we got a great deal booking this cruise right after Royal announced it, and those announcements for 2020-2021 are later this month. For another, we're not yet sure where we want to go for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My husband and I decided to try a cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary. After a week in Italy, we boarded at Civitavecchia and off we went. We were very pleased with our room (a balcony room). It was larger than expected, with ... Read More
My husband and I decided to try a cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary. After a week in Italy, we boarded at Civitavecchia and off we went. We were very pleased with our room (a balcony room). It was larger than expected, with plenty of storage (didn't even pull out the hooks I'd been told to bring), and a very comfortable bed. The bathroom had great ventilation and smells didn't linger. We spent most of the days on shore, but when we were on the ship we enjoyed the buffet breakfasts in the Windjammer (ate breakfast at Tides once, but found it too slow and not any better food quality), and our dinners at the Tides restaurant. I wondered if we would enjoy sitting with other people each night at the 6pm seating, but it actually added to our experience. We got to know our fellow diners a little, and enjoyed finding out what they had done that day and what they had planned for the next. We really enjoyed our dinners every night, too. The food was wonderful, and our waiters were so awesome. We tried two of the specialty restaurants, Chops and Giovanni's Table, and enjoyed our food (and our table at the window) at both of them. I swam in the pool once (small but nice) and read a book on the pool deck (had to crawl onto my lounge chair from the foot, they were so close together) on our first at sea day, but the second at sea day was cold and rainy, so we stayed in. We used the gym a couple of times, and it had plenty of equipment and wasn't too crowded. We saw a couple of the shows at the Coral Theater, which we enjoyed, and a couple of movies at the cinema (seats were a little well-used, and we laughed at the English subtitles on the English movies, but it was all fine). I attended the first day's orientation for new cruisers and gained some useful information, and we also went to one game show (a family feud type show) that was funny. My husband and I agreed that every crew member we encountered, from our room steward to the security people getting back on board to the harrassed wait staff at the Windjammer during busy meals, was as absolutely delightful as could be. They seemed genuinely friendly and eager to make our stay the best it could be. I have to eat gluten free, and I was always able to get something good, although sometimes I had to do a little work to do so. I found out a few days in that they had GF waffles at breakfast if you asked for them, and the 5th day I got a piece of GF chocolate cake at dinner (when I asked the right person--I had previously been told there wasn't any such thing). Generally, though, I just had to go with naturally GF food, like salads, omelets, bacon, steaks, potatoes, creme brulees, fruit, etc. Luckily these were easily available. We had some unexpected schedule changes, but the ship handled them all very well. We were headed to Mykonos, but there was a passenger with a medical emergency, so we went to Athens that day instead. They let us know around noon the day before (we were at sea), so we had time to change our plans. When we were coming into the port at Naples, some ship in front of us made some steering mistakes and backed up traffic to the point that we docked about 2 hours late. The ship gave us an extra hour that night before we had to be back on board. We bought the internet package (the Voom wifi) since my husband had to work while we were there, and we found the internet to be generally strong and fast, and it worked all over the ship. Pricey, but worth it for us. Overall, as you can tell, we had a great experience, and even my skeptical husband agreed that we will definitely cruise again in the future. Royal Caribbean did not disappoint. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
we were on the same cruise same ship,one year ago and thought to repeat a great experience,but tings had obviously changed,the following best describes those changes.our room attendant took three days to empty the bin,in the dressing table ... Read More
we were on the same cruise same ship,one year ago and thought to repeat a great experience,but tings had obviously changed,the following best describes those changes.our room attendant took three days to empty the bin,in the dressing table drawer magazines and items from past cruises in other parts of the world,the entertainment was the total same as per one year ago word for word,as to the dining cold food, little choice repeated menus,little attention to requests on one occasion my wife received a baked potato a small piece of chicken no sauce no gravy no other vegetables and cold,also tea and coffee served in large workmen like mugs fine dining? after 2.30 pm till 6 pm no opportunity for a hot drink except on the open top deck and most basic depending on weather conditions,standards have slipped on this ship continuous game shows child like,self entertainment when at sea,the windjammer catering resembled up market school dinners,and to top it all our room safe was broken from day one cold upon staff three times,but to no avail safe lay open on more than one occasion. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
First and last RC cruise for me. Awful cabin, shower a joke, entertainment appalling and 400 Euro more than its way superior competitor NCL Epic. Food was good, staff without reproach but pokey , old fashioned Tiny cabin with a ... Read More
First and last RC cruise for me. Awful cabin, shower a joke, entertainment appalling and 400 Euro more than its way superior competitor NCL Epic. Food was good, staff without reproach but pokey , old fashioned Tiny cabin with a leaking shower and no xpelair ! I’ve had far better cruises with Norwegian, MSC and Celebrity . The entertainment /shows were of a poor standard .... . However the food is the best I’ve had on board any vessel and kudos to all the staff who work round the clock . Mobility is also an issue. 2 members of our party were disabled so had to stay on the ship at some ports as there was no way to get them into the tenders. We were told this was due to health and safety reasons but should be outlined by the tour operator when booking the cruise . My overall experience was positive but would not travel on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We choose this cruise due to the deals being offered and the places it was going. The room we chose was 2509 not really knowing it’s location but we hindsight we wouldn’t have chosen it due to the fact that we were right over the ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to the deals being offered and the places it was going. The room we chose was 2509 not really knowing it’s location but we hindsight we wouldn’t have chosen it due to the fact that we were right over the bow thruster which when operated was very very noisy and the room vibrated tremendously good if you want an early morning call. We thought we had booked anytime dining but was stuck with one table, food was ok but when my wife got a risotto which was glue pi the waiter asked if we wanted another but she refused,after that we ended up in the self service restaurant which had more chose, we believe that the food has gone down in quality to try and get you to buy the food in the on board speciality restaurants. Entertainment was fairly good but in the bars it always seems that they have to play very loud, which if you are trying to chat other passengers makes it more difficult. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I am not sure where to start this was a most amazing cruise which i have had so far with Royal Caribbean. Honestly i have no ties at all with Royal but just love the experience on board their ships. This cruise was really something special ... Read More
I am not sure where to start this was a most amazing cruise which i have had so far with Royal Caribbean. Honestly i have no ties at all with Royal but just love the experience on board their ships. This cruise was really something special for me and the kind people i shared the cruise with. All went well on boarding Rhapsody we were an hour late due to fog at Gatwick but it was not an issue. Rhapsody is i think now 20 plus years old but still great for her age small but big enough to have a great vacation experience. My cabin was 7147 an inside towards the back of the ship it was good. Douglas looked after my stateroom and was always smiling. Douglas was due to go home on the day we docked back in Venice on the 13th October. It was so nice to share his happiness to counting down his days. He worked so hard everyday to look after everyone and make sure everything was OK The food was just the best that i have experienced so far on a cruise Ivan who looked after us in the evening at table 30 was great. We would sometimes meet up at lunch with him as well in the main dining room. The Windjammer was also really good and a great choice for lunch so many people said how good it was as well. I did have breakfast on a couple of days in the dining room and on the last morning i had the breakfast muffin in Park Cafe it too was good. I never went to the theater but enjoyed the bands on the pool deck and and the centrium. As i said i never went to the shows but speaking to people most people said that they were happy. Bingo was fun i had such a laugh with the people i met up with playing this. Some lucky person when we were playing won $1000. I met a couple who were on their first cruise they were so enjoying it, i was lucky to share their time at the airport and their time on Rhapsody. I really enjoyed Kotor and Agostolli a great experience, as with these two ports of call i just went ashore on my own and stayed in port. Rhapsody as i said is getting on in age but it was clean and well maintained. My personnel time on board and the people that i met up with mostly seemed to enjoy their time on board. To me there was a great atmosphere on Rhapsody and the staff seemed to me to care about us having a great time. As always i would like to thank every crew member for being so kind. Again this is a personnel view of mine, I look forward to joining Rhapsody again soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Myself and my husband travelled with a group of friends to celebrate a special birthday. There were 16 of us in all which greatly added to the enjoyment of our holiday. We have cruised before on RCI , NCL and Princess so we were able ... Read More
Myself and my husband travelled with a group of friends to celebrate a special birthday. There were 16 of us in all which greatly added to the enjoyment of our holiday. We have cruised before on RCI , NCL and Princess so we were able to compare and contrast many aspects of the ship with those sailed on before. Rhapsody was similar in size to NCL Jade but was definitely older and a bit more jaded than our previous ships. Our cabin was a regular inside and was quite small. We asked out attendant (he was fantastic) to put a mattress topper on the bed as it was quite firm but then again my bed at home is quite soft. The bathroom is small but adequate. We were forward on Deck 2 but near the lifts which brought us straight up to the Windjammer Cafe and the pool deck in 2 minutes. The ship is easy to get around and the staff could not have been nicer. Our waiter, Belando in the MDR was excellent. Our only regret was leaving the Dining Room and going to Chops Grill one of the nights for a treat!. We were over 2 hours waiting for our main and some of our group sent food back for being overdone and/or cold. The Head waiter brought Champagne to our table in the MDR the following evening but it was an expensive lesson learned. Sixteen people at $38 pp is a large sum of money. There was always plenty of room in the Windjammer and we had breakfast and lunch here daily. I love being able to sample bits of everything and the food was always hot and plenty of it available. As a large group we created a lot of our own entertainment but those that went to the shows in the Theatre we not overly impressed. There was a good band who played in the Atrium most evenings and the Reggae band who played poolside and in 'Shall we Dance' were truly excellent. We had arranged our own tours in Kotor (Speed boats), Athens (Luxury 16 seater bus & guide) and Argostoli (luxury 16 seater bus & guide). They were amazing and definitely a highlight of our cruise. Kotor in Montenegro is somewhere most of us will return to. Our speed boats brought us from submarine bases to holy islands and picturesque villages. A trip around the quiet Greek island of Kefalonia has given us all memories that will stay with us forever. Swimming in the turquoise waters of one of the most famously beautiful beaches in the world, Myrtos Beach and eating fresh Calamari in a taverna is Assos village overlooking the lagoon. Heaven. One of our group left a wallet with money on the bus and the company emailed to say they had it and will send it home. No reward required. Every person we met on board or ashore was so kind and helpful (sorry i forgot about the grumpy gondolier in Venice!!). Corfu was a mixed bag. The town is very touristy. You can get a special Cruiseport/town public bus from the port building for €1.70 which is good value. Mykonos is by tender and is worth a look but also very touristy. If you are looking at these reviews deciding if you should go on Rhapsody or not, you should do it. She has been around the world many times but she was very homely and I became very fond of her shiny and glitzy appearance in the public rooms. If you get the Drinks package don't forget that the lovely coffee on Deck 6 is included. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
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