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412 Royal Caribbean Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We selected this cruise for the itinerary, The Holy Land. The first sailing day we had stormy weather. Lots of queasy passengers, very hard to walk around and several activities cancelled or rescheduled. This is one of the challenges of ... Read More
We selected this cruise for the itinerary, The Holy Land. The first sailing day we had stormy weather. Lots of queasy passengers, very hard to walk around and several activities cancelled or rescheduled. This is one of the challenges of sailing and -- it happens. The crew did a great job of communicating and making us as comfortable as possible given the circumstances. Because of the weather, our Sicily stop was changed to Crete. Personally, we didn't mind because we had never visited Crete. Our Ashdod port was changed to Haifa so we had an overnight stay in Haifa. We agreed, better to be safe. Unfortunately, it was a religious holiday and everyplace we visited on the Jerusalem and Bethlehem shore excursion was very, very crowded. Compounded by the longer transit time (1.5 hours) from Haifa versus Ashdod, it was not the experience we had anticipated. Nonetheless, we were able to quickly see religious sites that had enormous emotional and sentimental value to us. The Jewel is a little older, but well maintained. I have sailed on the Jewel before so I knew what to expect in terms of ship size and layout. It does not have zip lines, surfing, multi-deck slides, carousels, and neighborhoods. The Jewel is a good, mid-sized ship with some of the older ship style charm. We were in cabin 9256, which has a standard size cabin, but a larger balcony. The extended balcony has a nice AFT and Port view. There are passenger cabins above and below. It is very private and quiet. It would be nice to have a staircase towards the aft. Our aft cabin was quite a walk; on the bright side, we got exercise just going/coming to/from the cabin. The food ranged from okay to good; the dining room staff was very pleasant. We had Anytime Dining and our average wait for a table for two was approximately five minutes. The seatig wait time was consistent with a land based restaurant. The entertainment in the centrum area was quite good. It was usually a crowded area. We are in our late 60s and sailing in November allowed us to avoid too many children and teenagers. The children that were sailing were very well behaved. Our fellow passengers were primarily multi-generational families and couples. The shore excursions were as described, so no surprises there. We pre-ordered the excursions we wanted and used the ship excursions for most of our ports. The two exceptions were that we booked the Hop On Hop Off bus in Rhodes (small port city) and Athens (we had been there before and just wanted to get an overview). Yes, there were less expensive excursions available from private vendors...but the notion of being left at a port frightens me. We quickly learned, strenuous meant strenuous and made one or two adjustments to our selections after our first full day excursion. When we changed excursions, I wished the Shore Excursions Desk onboard would honor the 10-20% discounts we received for pre-ordering. Also, Easy Ephesus could spend a few minutes at the ruins for pictures and a lot less time hearing a carpet sales pitch. We had a great time. My overall suggestion for this itinerary would be to take the earlier sailing (there were only two offered in 2019), the weather would probably be better and you may avoid religious holidays. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We choose this cruise for the Europe destinations. Rome was great to see when we first got there, a little crowded, but were told it's worse in the summer months. The cruise terminal is a long ride, but we had a private transfer which ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the Europe destinations. Rome was great to see when we first got there, a little crowded, but were told it's worse in the summer months. The cruise terminal is a long ride, but we had a private transfer which made it nice. The embarkation seemed like we were in a third world country. Pop up tents and metal guard rails in a parking lot, but it went pretty smooth compared to the looks. We always select a jr suite for the spacious room and this one didn't disappoint. The first night however we found that our stateroom, (1078) was directly below the wind jammer which they start preparing at 3:30am, (every morning like clock work) and the carts running back and forth wake me up. So much for paying more for a suite. The cruise ship is a smaller one, so not as many options for sea days and after shore excursions. It was nice, but you can tell it's older and there was a sewer smell on the 10th floor for the entire cruise. Our cabin was great and outside of the noise that started at 3:30am every morning we had no issues. All the staff were great, (as always) and we never needed for anything. The food was as expected in the wind jammer, just luke warm, but this has been our experiences for all cruises. We ate at Tides dinning room one night and it was great. Chops Grill, was not any good on day 2, Rib eye steak was rubbery, but medium well and lobster was mushy. You can tell this food was pre cooked, then heated up and not what we expected for additional paid dinning. Giovannis was great on day 6 where I had the filet and my Wife had a seafood dish. We did not do much of the entertainment or shows outside of the movies in the cinema and on the pool deck. This cruise had very few kids/families so there weren't a lot of kids running around the pool deck, mostly adults, which was great. All staff were courteous and nice and always looking to help out. Ports and shore excursions. We did all our own shore excursions with our travel agent. Mykonos, Athens and Santorini Greece were all fabulous and as expected with the views and scenes just like the post cards. Our excursion in Athens was canceled upon our arrival, so we did the hop on hop off and spent almost the entire day at the Acropolis which is awesome. Malta was not so good. We paid for the Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk tour, which come to find out is a fishing village and it's like a flea market that sells fish and souvenirs. They dropped us off for 1.5 hours and said to be back at the bus, then it started to rain. When we got to the Blue Grotto, it was closed, so all we could do was eat and get back on the bus. The stops in Sicilly, Naples and Rome were great and other than my Wife shopping and spending lot's of money, they were as advertised as well. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our 15th cruise on our 5th different cruise line (Celebrity, Carnival, NCL and Holland America). We’ve always liked Royal and went on this ship in February to the Caribbean and wanted to do a Mediterranean cruise. We flew ... Read More
This was our 15th cruise on our 5th different cruise line (Celebrity, Carnival, NCL and Holland America). We’ve always liked Royal and went on this ship in February to the Caribbean and wanted to do a Mediterranean cruise. We flew from Canada the week before the cruise and spent three days in Munich and then four days in Rome. Took the train to Civitivecchia the morning of the cruise and started walking to the pier with 8 other cruisers. When we couldn’t find out how to get there, we realized we had to get on a port shuttle bus to take us to the cruise shuttle buses to take us to the terminal Very confusing port with insufficient signage to tell people how to get to the ship. Embarkation – Once we got there, the embarkation was very quick and smooth. Food – the food was very good everywhere, especially in the Windjammer. We didn’t go to any specialty restaurants as I found the food in the buffet and the dining room was great and had lots of variety. Ship – the ship is really nice. I like the layout of the Radiance class and have been on Radiance, Brilliance and the Jewel. The adult solarium pool is very relaxing and the outdoor pool is nice too.. I got a coffee card and had a special coffee (latte, cappucino) almost every day. Ports – we liked all the ports but Malta and Santorini were our favourites. I hadn’t heard much about Valetta but it was beautiful, clean, picturesque. We did a Segway tour and it was a blast. Entertainment – we don’t usually go to the shows but I found the one or two that I went to were as good as any other ship. Summary – Overall, I found the cruise to be great in every way and the itinerary (especially Malta) was everything we hoped it would be! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Mediterranean Cruise on Vision of the Seas September 2019 This is my review of our most recent cruise. It was our twenty- ninth cruise, and our first in Europe. We prefaced the Barcelona departure with two pre-cruise days in ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise on Vision of the Seas September 2019 This is my review of our most recent cruise. It was our twenty- ninth cruise, and our first in Europe. We prefaced the Barcelona departure with two pre-cruise days in London. Approximately half of our cruises have been on Royal Caribbean, however, we have cruised with Norwegian, Disney, Princess, Celebrity, and Carnival as well. This booking was made a year in advance, and all cruise amenities and/or add ons were prepaid prior to boarding. This is significant and worth noting. All European cruises that leave from a European port are subject to a 21% VAT Tax from the European Union. This means everything from drinks to souvenirs, to excursions and any packages such as Internet, Dining, or Beverage that are purchased onboard. So, to save, pre- buy these items prior to boarding. Our flight arrangements and transfers were all booked via the cruise line through their Choice Air connection. The rates were competitive and we were kept informed of all changes that occurred prior to departure. In reference to changes, there was one pre boarding change made to our itinerary. The port of Malta was changed to a stop in Crete instead. Also during the cruise, the port of Mykonos was cancelled due to high winds and a second day in Athens was substituted. Our eight- and one-half hour flight to London was on British Airways and was uneventful. Taking place in the middle of a British Airways pilot strike we were worried about this leg of the trip, but it went smoothly. Service was adequate, seats in Premium Economy were not particularly comfortable, and the food was mediocre. We stayed at the Heathrow Hilton T4 which is connected to Terminal Four by covered walkway. There is also an Underground Tube station at the terminal. The hotel was nice and food and service was very good. Taking the tube into London using our pre-purchased "Visitor Oyster" cards was easy, however, on both occasions that we used the tube to return to Heathrow from downtown London the cars were overcrowded to the point of absurdity. There are no words that adequately describe the amount of mass humanity that can jam into a London subway car. Very unpleasant, but unavoidable. We managed to see a surprising amount of the iconic London landmarks, and even took a Thames River cruise from Westminster to Greenwich during our one- and one-half days in London. The high point of our London visit was the tour of Buckingham Palace. We had been very lucky to obtain these hard to get tickets in the months prior to our departure. It was an amazing visit and the gardens were beautiful. In the course of our London visit we walked just under sixteen miles. Our flight from Heathrow to Barcelona to catch our ship departed at 6:15am and required that we take a taxi from Terminal Four to Terminal Three. It was arranged by the Hotel Concierge and went smoothly at a cost of Eighteen British Pounds. This flight was also on British Airways and went smoothly. The Barcelona Airport proved to be a miserable place, and getting through Customs took almost as long as the flight from London. A prime example of inefficiency this place has inadequate signage, rude people, and absolutely nothing to recommend it to anyone. The transfer from the airport to the cruise terminal was slow and not without minor issues, but was accomplished after a short wait. Due to the number of ships in port the Vision of the Seas had been relegated to an industrial dock far from the cruise terminal. The bus from the Airport took us to the terminal for check in which went quickly, and a second bus then took us to the ship for boarding. Again, not very efficient but it did get the job done. Upon boarding Vision of the Seas which we had sailed on previously we made our way to the Windjammer Buffet for lunch. Finding a seat was easy and the food was good. The food at the Windjammer proved to be very good during the entire cruise. Service in the Windjammer was very poor during the first couple of days, but did improve as the cruise went on. Our cabin, an inside stateroom on Deck 7 forward was ready by 1pm and we found it to be in good order and more than adequate. Our Cabin Steward, Alexander provided exemplary service during this twelve-day cruise. One caveat, our cabin 7513 was directly over the Theater where live performances take place and from time to time could be a bit noisy. The ship does show some age, but for the most part it seems in good condition with ample seating in and around the Atrium. The cleaning of tables around the seating areas was for the most part non-existent. Very poor job of housekeeping in this area. As far as the running of the ship, it did seem that it was being operated efficiently. It arrives and departs on time, and the Captain keeps passengers well informed. The ship also seems to ride very well, and is for the most part very comfortable. Entertainment in the Atrium was pretty standard with small combos, and piano players making regular appearances. We did not sample the main theater, or the main dining room on this trip. We ate exclusively at the Windjammer and were never disappointed. It seemed that the main dining room was not attracting as many people as in the past, and the Casino also rarely seemed crowded, although we didn't really check it out during prime hours. The shops were the usual basic Royal Caribbean fare, and the Photo Gallery still prints pictures bucking the recent trend of going all digital. Our first stop was Cannes, France. Cannes is a tender port, so you must take a tender boat to and from the ship. We did not have a shore excursion and simply went ashore and walked along the waterfront and among the shops and street side restaurants. It is a very pretty little place, and did not seem too difficult o get around. Of course, we had to buy the usual souvenirs that tourists love so much. We stayed ashore long enough to get a feel for the place and appreciate its beauty. Crowds were not bad, and overall it was a pleasant experience. Our second stop was Livorno, Italy which is the port nearest to Florence and Pisa. We had an excursion to Florence that include the Piazza Santa Croce dominated by the Basilica of Santa Croce which is the burial site of Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and Galileo among others. We also visited the Galleria dell'Accademia to see the renown statue of David by Michelangelo. We also saw the Duomo, and many other historic sites as we walked through Florence. This was a walking tour, and it included lunch. Overall a beautiful place and a worthwhile visit. Be aware, this tour required that we walk over five miles over uneven and often slippery cobblestones and roadways. Also be aware that like all popular locations the crowds will be ever present, and often daunting. A sea of humanity all jostling for position and trying to keep up with and in sight of their tour guides. When multiple ships are in port the crowds number in the multiple thousands. One member of our tour became confused about our time of departure and missed our return bus. Fortunately, she was able to get help from shop owners who got a taxi which she took back to the port on her own. This error cost her two hundred Euros, and she just made it back to the ship in the nick of time. Beware. Our next port was Civitavecchia, Italy which is the port town serving Rome. Our excursion to Rome included visits to the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and the Vatican. The Colosseum is amazing and awe inspiring, however, it is also crowded beyond belief. Ours was a special small group tour and we got to go inside and up to the second level for good viewing, but there like so many of these places the overwhelming amount of people make enjoying the sites problematic. Walking to the Trevi Fountain was a beautiful walk with many photo opportunities along the way. But again, at the fountain it is almost impossible to get to the site because of the crowds. We had a very good Pizza near the Fountain and then headed to the Vatican. The Vatican is always crowded. We went through the Vatican Museum, The Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peters Basilica. All were beautiful, and all were packed with people. A member of our group got caught attempting to take a photo in the Sistine Chapel and our entire group was removed as a result. We had been warned. But overall the Vatican was well worth the visit and putting up with crowds and their antics. After these stops, we had two sea days to rest. Believe me they were welcomed. The ship being a bit smaller than many did not seem overcrowded and moving around was very easy. Our next stop was the Port of Piraeus, Greece. This is the port that serves Athens. We booked two excursions, one for each of our two days at this port. On our first day we went to the Acropolis and Cape Sounion. The Acropolis is absolutely unbelievable. It is well worth the walk and climb to see. However, be aware that the walk and the climb are both significant. If you have any mobility issues or breathing issues, do not attempt it. The crowds here were among the worst of the trip. Old stairs with no handrails, uneven stone walkways, and slippery marble all must be contended with. It is, however, worth the effort if you can make it. After a provided lunch buffet at Hotel InterContinental Athenaeum which was very good, we made our way down the coast to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon. Beautiful place, with high winds, slippery walkways and a vertical climb. Our second day in Athens found us on a basic downtown sightseeing excursion that included an extended shopping time in the Plaka Shopping District in old Athens below the Acropolis opposite Hadrian's Arch. The shopping was good and the area is picturesque and lively. The next stop was Santorini, Greece. First, it is as beautiful as the pictures that we have all seen. The one main problem it has is accessibility. You must tender to the dock to catch your excursion and the only way back is down a 600-stair stairway shared with Donkeys or a hopelessly overcrowded cable car system. our excursion took us to the amazing ruins of Akrotiri where you can walk among an active archeological dig and see the civilization that has been recovered. We also toured the island and Oia we had lunch at a small pizzeria overlooking the caldera that forms Santorini's bay. It was just a breathtaking setting and pretty good pizza to boot. The last stop was the capital of Fira. Catching the cable car back down to the dockside was a nightmare. You stand in line in the sun for one to one and one half hours to reach the ticket window. The line moves painfully slow and snakes through a shopping area. As you near the stairs into the cable car house people sneak out of the shops and begin to cut the line. This happens continually and everyone is aware and grumbling but no one does anything about it. This can and does lead to unpleasant encounters between those who dutifully stood in line and those interlopers who think nothing of cheating their fellow passengers. Later this was the number one complaint made by passengers on our ship about their visit to Santorini. Our last stop was the Greek island of Crete. There is not a lot to see, but it is a very pretty place with an interesting history. The story of the Battle of Crete during WWII alone is worth noting. We saw the remains of an Ancient Roman wall and an Ottoman fortress. Crete also is home to the only deep-water Mediterranean port used by the U.S. Navy. A pleasant stop, and a pleasant place. Our next two sea days brought us back to Barcelona. Disembarkation was smooth with only a slight problem in finding the correct transfer bus to that terrible Barcelona Airport. It seems that in Spain when Person A directs you somewhere, then Person B at that location will not have the slightest idea as to why you were sent there. Our flight home was with Delta Airlines and went smoothly and without incident. A few items of note. First, money. We did bring small amounts of British Pounds, and European Euros, and we did use them with no problem. However, our credit cards with chips were used without any trouble as well. We were never asked for a Pin#. We simply used the card and then were required to sign, hence the term, "chip and sign." Second, restrooms in Europe are another story. They are not plentiful. They often charge you to use them so always have some Euro coins handy for the attendant, and they are often not clean, or have no toilet seat. Some see this as "old world charm”. I don't. Third, if you are used to having ice in your beverage don't go to Europe. Again, "old world charm." Fourth, crowds. As I have pointed out in many parts of this review crowds in Europe are ever present, unyielding, often rude, and always overwhelming. Fifth, theft. You will be warned about pick-pockets everywhere you go in Europe. Take these warnings seriously. A fellow cruise passenger had her wallet lifted from a zippered compartment in her backpack while waiting in that Santorini cable car line, and she never felt a thing. Take precautions, and consider how you carry your valuables. And finally, sixth, filth. European cities are often dirty and smelly with garbage piled along the street and graffiti covering literally every surface in sight. One gets the impression that if you stand too long in one spot you run the risk of being "tagged" by some young Michelangelo "wanna be". In conclusion I am glad we made this trip and what we saw was absolutely worth the effort, but I don't need to see it again anytime soon. Also be aware that according to my wife's Fit bit we walked 65 miles during this trip. Be prepared. If you are interested, we did VLOG this trip. You may find our videos on YouTube. Simply search for our YouTube site, "Cruise Views and other Stuff." Please subscribe if you like the videos. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Service was impeccable. Food was mediocre - for lactose-intolerant passengers, you have little to no choice (esp. at Park Café - everything is either with butter, cream or cheese). You can ask for soy or almond milk at Windjammer. ... Read More
Service was impeccable. Food was mediocre - for lactose-intolerant passengers, you have little to no choice (esp. at Park Café - everything is either with butter, cream or cheese). You can ask for soy or almond milk at Windjammer. Otherwise you'll have to do with fruits or salads. Also, there is no Asian food - no fried noodles, no ramen, no dumplings, no soups, no sushi - which would have been a great dairy-free alternative. We raised this at dining without expecting anything, and the supervisor kindly went beyond and above to concoct seafood fried noodles the next day! The Indian food though was quite good - and the desserts as many mentioned here are delicious. TAKE CARE though - at Park Café, Edelweiss (breakfast) and Windjammer I came across a small hair in my plate, whether it was in pineapple, bacon, rice curry salad or Indian papadum. I did complain to the staff, all they could do is apologize...but that doesn't change things, pls do look in your plate before you put that food in your mouth ;) Itinerary was wonderful. Did not do the excursions, I did the research online and that was enough. I did order a water pack of 12 bottles to the cabin and that was well worth it - this saved time for when we got to port before our own excursions or just when we got thirsty in bed. Activity-wise I recommend you attend the threatre shows, trivias and poolside competitions - the instructors make it really fun! The climbing wall was good fun and has different level routes. Fitness centre had very old machines, but they still work (the crosstrainers just squeak a lot). The sports areas were nearly empty whenever I went. I'd have to say the music entertainment is targeted at quite a senior crowd, you had 50s, 60s disco parties, and a Beatles concert. I am from the 90s so some may find it a little difficult to relate - but it didn't stop me from dancing! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First time on Royal..last cruise was on Celebrity. Left from Venice and spent two nights prior at Hotel Principe which is on the Canal. Intend to return for a longer visit. Spent the first day into night just walking around and ... Read More
First time on Royal..last cruise was on Celebrity. Left from Venice and spent two nights prior at Hotel Principe which is on the Canal. Intend to return for a longer visit. Spent the first day into night just walking around and exploring the town. They say just to get lost in Venice and we came close. All the businesses we dealt with we found to have friendly staff and all spoke english. Streets can get very busy with pedestrian traffic. A very beautiful city. The second day we took a water bus to Murano and Burano, be warned Burano is about another 45min by water bus from Murano and only leaves about every hour from there to return to Venice. Visited the Doge Palace which is a must see. Had a great buffet breakfast at the hotel with beautiful view of canal on embarkation day then just walked over to waterbus for trip to pier. Stop is on other side of pier but easy walk over a bridge. Ship: Embarkation was smooth and staff were available to direct you or answer questions. We were able ro get into our room at 1pm. Cabin-we had an inside cabin but the room was just fine as we were only in it to sleep. Cabin Steward was very friendly and kept it clean. We were about 4 rooms down from Centrum entertainment area but room was quiet. Centrum-entertainment and games were very good.. Area was well used for cruise and we found ourselves there each night. Good variety of music on board and inhouse entertainers were very good. Juggler and ventriloquist were OK, Beatlemaniacs were a highlight..excellent. Overall happy with entertainment, although was not a fan of the ventriloquist. Food on board was good and I am OK without the late night buffet.. Appears all closed except a coffee station by 11pm except the solarium cafe. Did not like Windjammer buffet and felt on this ship it is poorly designed. Have to go into an area in the middle that is cramped in order to get main food..only ate there twice, hard to get a table. Would just stick with main dining room on next cruise .Disembarkation..had an issue in that was not given proper tag for luggage but easily fixed by customer service. Otherwise had no issues. Ports: Dubrovnik-old ciity very nice but wall to wall people..if return will take an excursion out of town. Kotor-Beautiful and strongly encourage you get up for the sale into port. The bay is incredible. Old city was very nice..We took an excursion" Baroque"-guide was excellent..town we visited was OK but church on island was very nice. Great desserts in old town at restaurant just inside gate. Santorini-great pics..did Oia and Fira with wine tasting, another great guide. Did not need to wait in line for cable cars or take stairs from Fira, took bus from new port. Again wall to wall people as expected 12000 tourists that day. Good shopping but great views. Katakolon-this was a highlight. Took excursion to Magna Grecia farm and Olympia and was by far our favorite excursion. Overall happy with all ports and ship was usually first in. Had to make a change to time to first port which we received an email about before boarding. No concerns. We were very satisfied and booked another cruise with RCI, with rest of our family, for other side of Meditteranean. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall, we had a great cruise out of Venice on 8/31/19. We had a great itinerary including Kotor, Corfu, Athens, Mykonos, and Keflonia. Unfortunately we were not able to get into Mykonos due to high winds and seas, but the crew was able ... Read More
Overall, we had a great cruise out of Venice on 8/31/19. We had a great itinerary including Kotor, Corfu, Athens, Mykonos, and Keflonia. Unfortunately we were not able to get into Mykonos due to high winds and seas, but the crew was able to turn the day around to a nice day at sea, scrambling to fill in our recreation and entertainment needs. All the other stops were as advertised, offering many different things to do and see. We only availed ourselves of one of the tours on Argostoli to the beach. We were able to find plenty to do on our own and ended up having a great time and seeing some great places in a beautiful country. The ship is old, and shows some of it, though the crew does an outstanding job of keeping it clean and up to date. The food was for the most part good, and plenty was offered. The dining rooms were very nice, well run, and staffed by professionals who worked hard and long to make us happy. The show lounges were fair to middling, and while my wife enjoyed the shows, I made my escape to the casino to try my luck. Entertainment on board was varied and plentiful with lots to do and see, so if you were bored, it had to be your own fault. The entertainment director was all over and made sure we had fun. We especially enjoyed the Diamond lounge with their attentive staff with plentiful drinks and goodies. The only major complaints we had were with the schooner lounge and the centrum area. For some reason, the entertainers there mistake volume for quality in music. The piano player in the schooner was quite good, but not at 120dB. Same goes for the centrum. It's too loud to enjoy yourself or to converse with anyone near. I realize that "if the music's too loud, you're too old", but i love music as much as anyone, but I also enjoy a good conversation without blowing out my throat. Bad music is bad, either loud or soft, good music does not need to be broadcast at earsplitting levels. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Cruise itinerary was - Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Sea Day, Santorini, Katakolon, Sea Day, Venice. ) We are a relatively fit middle aged couple in reasonable health. ) No excursions pre-booked but we did buy the deluxe drinks ... Read More
The Cruise itinerary was - Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Sea Day, Santorini, Katakolon, Sea Day, Venice. ) We are a relatively fit middle aged couple in reasonable health. ) No excursions pre-booked but we did buy the deluxe drinks package (recommended). ) Port side balcony room booked (mainly for the sail out of Venice at 6:00pm) * Rhapsody of the Seas - getting a little tired but still tidy & clean * Port side balcony cabin - spacious enough for 2 of us with settee, reasonable sized bathroom, no kettle but this is easily got around by ordering FOC "breakfast in cabin" then going for your full breakfast later. Uncontrolable air conditioning making the room too cold. * We went for "My Time dining" in the evenings, which isn't flexible at all. The food was very good on the whole but sometimes could have been hotter. For breakfast we went to the Edelweiss restaurant and more often than not went for the Egg Benedict (Yummy!!). Lunch time we went in the Windjammer which also was very good if sometimes a little busy. Day 1 - Embarkation went quite smoothly, with the usual queues! Once on board (approx12:30pm) we had access to our room with our luggage arriving an hour or two later. We'd prepared for this by packing shorts and sun cream in our hand luggage. Food and drinks were available immediately. The sail through Venice at 6:00pm did not disappoint with magnificent views of the great city. Day 2, Dubrovnik - We did not book an excursion (this will become a theme) and waited for the queues to go down before taking a taxi to the edge of the walled city (cost 15 euro's). Once there, we opted to wander around the city and decided not to walk the walls (minimal cost of approx 6 euro's each, though Euro's not accepted KN's or Credit Card). We have done the walls before and they can get very busy. For some reason the taxi back was 18 euro's??? Day 3, Kotor, Montenegro - we have stayed here before so knew it fairly well. Again we didn't book an excursion and got an early tender ashore with the intention of walking up the walls before the walk was in the sun. The entrances to the walls are through the town and cost 6 euro's each. This is quite a challenging walk up to St John's Fortress and good shoes or trainers recommended, the health and safety police would have a field day here. But it's well worth the 800ft climb for the view. After a wander around the town we went to the shingle beach and spent a couple of hours there. Mid afternoon we were back on a tender (no queues) and aboard the ship. The sail out of the Kotor Fjords was great, and Day 3 was also the formal night which I'm always a little wary of but was instructed to wear my dinner suit with a concession that I didn't have to put on my dickie bow! Still a lot of gents had suits on and most had made an effort. Day 4, Sea Day - We had worked out that we needed to drink 4 cocktails (approx $12 + 18% gratuity) each per day, which wasn't much of a problem on any of the days (Aluminium bottles of Budweiser $7.25, Glass of wine $8 and everything has 18% gratuity added). Day 5, Santorini - Re-visiting Santorini after 31 years! We wanted to hire a motorbike and tour the island independently, but the rental company would only deliver to the ferry port or the top of the cable car port (two separate ports, not linked). We decided to get a relatively early tender (after the queues had died down, most of which were for excursions) jumped straight on a tender and walked up the steps to the town. Most reviews moan about how slippy they are and smelly, but the weren't that bad. As we were early we could have got on the cable car with a short wait but decided on the steps and were surprised by how quiet it was, a few donkeys (more like horses) coming down and none going up. We wandered around Thera Town for a while and sampled the drinks etc. then early afternoon jumped straight into the cable car and onto a tender with no queues. Day 6, Katakolo - This is the port to go to Olympia, we didn't bother as I'm not a great fan of fallen down columns and the such like, so we opted for a walk around Katakolon. However whilst walking around we found that there is a direct train to Olympia for 10 Euro's each return, also when cruise ships dock the modern a/c trains run every hour for the 45min journey. Strangely enough RCb don't seem to mention this as on option to get to Olympia. There's not a great deal in Katakolon but there is a small beach to the left of the port and the dock side bars are very pleasant. Formal Dress Night Day 7, Sea Day - Cocktails, drinks and food....lots of it! Morning 8, Venice - Early arrival, smooth disembarkation (Bags collected the night before) Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our party of eight adults chose Rhapsody mainly for the itinerary. Sailing from Venice was a big attraction also. We spent one night in Venice prior to departure and enjoyed the sights despite the intense heat and the crowds. We stayed in ... Read More
Our party of eight adults chose Rhapsody mainly for the itinerary. Sailing from Venice was a big attraction also. We spent one night in Venice prior to departure and enjoyed the sights despite the intense heat and the crowds. We stayed in Hotel Olimpia which was a lovely hotel in a quiet part of Venice and near some nice restaurants and shops. Plenty of transport options nearby. It was also very handy for the cruise terminal. Embarkation was extremely smooth and quick. We boarded at 11.30am and there were not many people boarding at that time. We went to the Windjammer for an early lunch and our cabins were ready by 1pm. We were delighted to see that the ship, despite being an older ship and contrary to some previous reviews, was in very good shape. The ship was busy with a wide range of age groups. There were quite a lot of families with children. The children didn't bother us at all except that the pool was nearly always busy with them. The solarium pool is adult only but was also usually very busy and it is nicer to be outdoors when the weather is so nice. Sun chairs could be difficult to get around the pool especially on sea days, but there were usually some available on the promenade deck. We chose the late sitting for dinner but there was a mix up with our table and we were not that happy with the one we were given. We only ate in the MDR on 3 nights and tried all three of the speciality restaurants on the other nights. We went to Chops twice and thought the food and service was very good the first night and not quite as good on the second. The food was lukewarm on this occasion but still tasty. Lamb and steaks were very good. Giovanni's was only okay and neither the waiter nor the Matire'd were very friendly. Izumi's was nice but we thought the portions were on the small size. The food in MDR was generally very good. We only went to a couple of shows in the theatre. The singers and dancers were excellent in the piano man show. The magician was vey good also and the juggler was entertaining. Music in the Centrum was very enjoyable but there is not enough seating. We also enjoyed the piano player in Schooner bar. There is a nightclub on deck 11 and on one night there was a dancing under the stars party around the pool which was fun. The bar service in some of the bars could be quite slow and we often found it is quicker to go the bar to be served. In contrast the service in the Windjammer was very good with plenty of staff clearing tables as soon as people vacated them and also were helpful in getting speciality coffees or orange juice etc. We had the drinks package and enjoyed the coffee and fresh juice we could get with this. There was a good selection of food in the Windjammer although it could be very busy, especially on sea days. We had organised private tours for our party of eight in Dubrovnik, Kotor and Santorini. This worked well for us as we could plan what we would like to do which mostly involved some sight seeing, some swimming and somewhere nice for lunch in each destination. We enjoyed each place very much although Santorini is a nightmare when returning to the ship in the afternoon. We had been on the first tender in the morning so getting the cable car up was no problem, however in the afternoon when returning there was a very long line for the cable car so we decided to walk down the steps. This proved extremely difficult as the steps (approx. 600 of them) are slippery and have donkey manure on them. It is also upsetting to see the donkeys/mules hauling mostly overweight people up and down the steps in the hot sun. There was no water in sight for them anywhere. We were exhausted by the time we got to the bottom and then there was a long line for the tenders. Crew did their best distributing water and cold towels which were very welcome. I can't understand how with all the ships that go there (5 on the day we were there) that the cruise companies don't improve the cable car system to carry more people. Also, if a hand rail was put on the walls along the steps it would be helpful as it is dangerous at the moment. If we were to go there again I think we would book a boat tour, but really having seen Santorini, and it is lovely to see it once, I don't think we would want to return. Too many people and too difficult to get up and down the cliff. Katakolon is nice as the ship docks right in the town. So easy to stroll into the town for shopping. There is a small beach very close to the ship for a welcome swim and a nice harbour with restaurants to sit and have a drink. We enjoyed this cruise and would consider sailing on this ship in the future but perhaps during school term would be less busy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our family of 6 adults were very pleased with our cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas. First, in terms of any negativity I would acknowledge our cabin and some areas of the ship are a bit basic and jaded in appearance. The Windjammer can be ... Read More
Our family of 6 adults were very pleased with our cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas. First, in terms of any negativity I would acknowledge our cabin and some areas of the ship are a bit basic and jaded in appearance. The Windjammer can be very hectic and a little difficult to get seating but with patience and perseverance an enjoyable meal can be had. Very harsh, expensive and unfair that all persons in each cabin are obliged to purchase the same drink package. Overall though we were very satisfied with our choice of ship/cruise and had a marvellous holiday. Main Compliments; Standard of service; Excellent in all areas of the ship. The many staff we encountered were amazing. Restaurants - Quality of food and service exceptional. We opted for My Time dining in the evening in the main restaurant and this suited our needs and daily plans extremely well. We had the experience of being served at two different tables and at both the service was excellent. Mostly we were at a table being served by Eddie and Samson. These gents could not be bettered. Professional, humourous and friendly. Deck 9 Pool Area - great atmosphere and staff excellent. Entertainment- Very good. Some great shows in the theatre. Listening though to Alfonso play piano and tell jokes in the Schooner bar was our main choice most evenings. The mostly all girls band from the Philippines were also fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our daughter was on a school trip to Italy, so we decided to meet up with her in Rome and take a family cruise to the Greek Isles. We choose Jewel of the Seas, because we like RCCL and sailed on the Radiance of the Seas previously ... Read More
Our daughter was on a school trip to Italy, so we decided to meet up with her in Rome and take a family cruise to the Greek Isles. We choose Jewel of the Seas, because we like RCCL and sailed on the Radiance of the Seas previously (Alaska). I will say that so far the Radiance Class ships are my favorite of the RCCL line (I have been on Independence of the Seas, Majesty of the Seas, and Empress of the Seas as well). The ship is beautiful. Lots to do while easy to navigate. While all the usual accolades for Royal apply (very good food, great Piano player in the Schooner Lounge, very good Production Shows, etc.), what stood out for me was two new activities that I enjoyed immensely. The first was a Mystery Puzzle game that was professionally produced to be similar to current Escape Room type games. It was not an escape room, but a team game, where each team received an envelope with many puzzles that led to solving the mystery. Like I said, it was professionally produced and really awesome. Not easy, but not extremely difficult either. Took about an hour and was loads of fun. The second was a Murder Mystery Dinner, where the production entertainment team put on a play during cocktails and hors d'oevres where two mob bosses were about to combine their territory. One gets murdered. We went into dinner in one of the speciality restaurants, where clues were given throughout the dinner. At the end, there was a drawing from those who solved it correctly, with the winner receiving a champagne basket. Again, lots of fun. The first was no additional charge, while the second had a charge associated (but did include a great dinner in the speciality restaurant, including champagne and wine). The addition of these types of activities will keep me coming back to RCCL. The only reason I did not give this cruise 5 stars was the Itinerary. The ship gets 5 stars. The Itinerary, only about 3.5. If you really want to visit the Greek Isles, then this is a great way to do it...but be prepared for a grueling itinerary. We had one day at sea, followed by 4 port days, and ending with a day at sea. In general, the Islands are beautiful, but very hot and very crowded. Long days of touring with crowds, heat, and lines...and 4 in a row was a little more than we could handle. 1. Santorini: Definitely the most picturesque...but get on an early tender. Dress very cool, wear a hat and sneakers. Be prepared to wait in a line for 1-2 hours to get the cable car up and another 1 1/2 - 2 hours to get back down at the end. Be prepared to walk on very uneven cobblestones. 2. Mykonos: Probably the easiest port and also very beautiful. Classic white buildings. Beautiful seascape vistas. Good history. Cool breezes and no lines :) 3. Athens: Our least favorite. Crowded city. Very hot. Walking up the Acropolis is the highlight (you gotta do it), but go early and be prepared for a very slippery climb up ancient slippery marble. 4. Katakolon: Too pooped to visit the sight of the ancient Olympic games...choose instead to taxi to a nice beach. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We found this cruise to be an excellent bargain. We were able to get a Jr. Suite in the back of the ship for UNDER 2k per person. CABINS: Rhapsody is NOT R.C.'s newest boat, and it shows. However, those criticizing the ship failed ... Read More
We found this cruise to be an excellent bargain. We were able to get a Jr. Suite in the back of the ship for UNDER 2k per person. CABINS: Rhapsody is NOT R.C.'s newest boat, and it shows. However, those criticizing the ship failed to mention the efforts made to keep it clean as a whistle. THAT showed more than its age, in my opinion. We were actually very impressed and pleased with our cabin. Yes, it was old and needs a re-vamping, but it was clean, spacious, and the beds were SO comfy. The only reason there's not five stars from me was due to the strange "warm water" we had that never wanted to get cold. Jose, our steward was warm and personable. Our balcony was HUGE! I could have cartwheeled across it!!! All six members of our party loved the balconies and we spent plenty of time out on them, too. DINING: We bought three visits to specialty restaurants. I was disappointed in the lack of explanation prior to boarding that we were given, regarding the main dining room, however. We had trouble getting into it on the last three days of the cruise. Whether or not reservations were required prior to boarding was confusing. CHOPS and GIOVANNI'S TABLE were the two specialty restaurants we dined at. I was disappointed in CHOPS. The second night we went, the crab cake was granular in texture and NOT up to the same quality as the first night of the cruise, which had been our first visit. The meat/preparation was "okay", but definitely lacked the superior service/quality of Celebrity, which we've cruised on before. EDELWEISS, the main dining room, was quite good and the shrimp cocktail shrimp were HUGE! Really enjoyed that appetizer. R.C. also makes mean apple pie! EMBARKATION: All went smoothly. We had zero complaints regarding the staff and associates with whom we made contact. That being said, I do NOT recommend cruises out of Venice. Venice is more expensive, due to its problematic location and transportation is truly an issue if you don't plan ahead. If you plan on leaving from this port, do your homework! Getting from the airport to hotels takes planning. I'm glad to have seen the city, but much prefer ports with easier access. SERVICE: I gave three stars regarding service. There were several times when I encountered crew members who seemed unfriendly or terse. Sometimes that came across in tone of voice or body language. Not good in this industry. Often service was slow in the dining rooms, including the specialty restaurants. Expect seated dinners to last a full two hours, or more. Dining service was usually attentive, however. One of the head waiters even shelled my tiger shrimp for me "a table". Nice touch! EXCURSIONS: We typically have our excursions booked prior to boarding. It really helps save time. Most of them were on buses with cramped seating and A.C. that was NOT adequate. 45-50 people would be packed into this space. In Crete, our excursion's location was 2.5 hrs. away. We should have had a MUCH more comfortable bus. The guide was excellent, however, and made the discomfort worth it. Athens was terribly crowded the day we were there. I've been before, and I love that city, but the crowds pretty much ruined the day for us. We did the City Walls tour in Dubrovnik, and I HIGHLY recommend it. However, be ready for some serious walking and exercise. You will get a workout! VALUE OVERALL: This was our first cruise on R.C. We would definitely use them again, though we still feel that Celebrity has higher quality food, better service, and fewer screaming children. :) Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. My husband had never been to the Mediterranean and I thought a cruise would be a great introduction. We stayed in Barcelona for 4 days prior to the cruise to acclimatize. Beautiful city. ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. My husband had never been to the Mediterranean and I thought a cruise would be a great introduction. We stayed in Barcelona for 4 days prior to the cruise to acclimatize. Beautiful city. We were not disappointed. Embarkation was too easy. We used the app and were prioritized. Took one minute to get through to the duty free. Our bags were placed on the scanner, and since we only took hand luggage for a 12 day cruise (still overpacked), we were on our way. Grabbed two bottles of wine at Duty Free and were in the Solarium 5 minutes later bypassing all photo ops. Once we ensconced ourselves on chairs, we realized that no one checked our bags on board. No one asked about wine or anything. I took this as an opportunity and returned to the Duty Free no questions asked to purchase more wine. This was at noon. No one checked for wine/ booze until we saw tables being set up after we got to our cabin. Not sure how many times people could have returned to the Duty Free before having wine confiscated! Our cabin was the smallest cabin available on deck 4. Perfect for us, only there to sleep and shower, and literally steps from the Centrum for live entertainment daily. Did get tired of the salsa/ Latin music by about the third day, but everything else was great. Had my time dining. Used the app and booked 8:00 seating on the first day and then booked every night for the same time. Had the same server and window table for 2 nightly. Each meal was excellent as was the service. Entertainment was a little weak on the cruise for our tastes, but we volunteer at our local theatre and are spoiled by concerts and dancers there. Played trivia daily. Won several times! New for us was the option of entering our name into a raffle for a prize at the end of the cruise instead of little prizes. It worked!!! WE ACTUALLY WON THE RAFFLE! We were shocked when a basket of RCCL goodies were delivered to our cabin. Shared the wealth with our trivia teammates who were equally thrilled. Would we do it again, YES! Perhaps we would research a little more about the ship as there were times we just read on deck instead of participating. We are used to larger ships, but VISION is still high quality for the price. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We spent 4 days in Rome before the cruise- beautiful city easy to explore. Booked a shuttle to the port which is about a 45 minute drive from downtown Rome. Dropped us right at the tent for luggage drop off and the line for Royal Caribbean ... Read More
We spent 4 days in Rome before the cruise- beautiful city easy to explore. Booked a shuttle to the port which is about a 45 minute drive from downtown Rome. Dropped us right at the tent for luggage drop off and the line for Royal Caribbean embarkation. Quick and easy-we arrived about 11:30 and were at the pool by noon!! Make sure you either pack or wear your bathing suit in a carry on bag because you won’t get your luggage until later. We would lay by the main pool and pop into the solarium pool to cool off. Jewel of the Seas is a smaller ship and has a ton of space to spread out never felt crowded except on sea days around the pool which is expected. The ports are amazing! The boat is small enough to get to know people and the staff. The ship could use a few more activities during sea days and at night. Overall, it was a beautiful trip and we had an awesome time sailing past Italy and Greece. Go for a balcony the views are amazing! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My daughter (35 y.o.), my granddaughter (13 y.o.) and I (66 y.o.) took a cruise to the Greek Islands; we started and ended the cruise in the port outside of Rome (July 16 -23, 2019). We shared a Junior Suite, #1584, on deck 10. Our ... Read More
My daughter (35 y.o.), my granddaughter (13 y.o.) and I (66 y.o.) took a cruise to the Greek Islands; we started and ended the cruise in the port outside of Rome (July 16 -23, 2019). We shared a Junior Suite, #1584, on deck 10. Our stateroom was clean and nicely appointed, had been updated. The whole ship was clean and must have been updated recently. The cabin attendant split the bed into twin beds. The couch pulled out into a bed which became basically a mattress on the floor for my granddaughter. The attendant never took up the mattress (to make a couch again) the whole trip...but he probably would have if I had requested it. The only odd thing about the cabin was daily/nightly noises overhead which varied in intensity and sounded anywhere in the range of a herd of kittens running to a plane landing! The buffet (deck 11) was above us, but still the noises were annoying. There was plenty of storage in the cabin for three females for 7 days. Dining was great; no complaints. We usually ate in the deck 5 Dining room. EXCURSIONS: My daughter and granddaughter enjoyed the Perivolos Beach on Santorini. I chose to avoid more sun, but was very disappointed with the excursion to Pyrgos Village with Mezes and Wine Tour. The guide was distant, there was no "tour" of the winery, and the mezes were very meager...avoid this excursion! And "Ulysses" from Royal Caribbean who was in charge of shopping was definitely working for the more expensive jewelry shops at each port. We discovered more moderately priced items at shops at each port. And be aware that if one gets their time to "Explore Athens and Ancient Acropolis" to the afternoon that it is very HOT and there is no time to shop in Athens (Piraeus). All things considered, I would recommend Jewel of the Seas as a very good ship. The itinerary to the Greek Islands however is somewhat lacking in excitement. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I think the captain said it best - he likes this class of ships best - the ship has the same propulsion as the largest ships with a smaller ship size. Thus making it the Maserati of the Sea. In February we took a larger ship and the ... Read More
I think the captain said it best - he likes this class of ships best - the ship has the same propulsion as the largest ships with a smaller ship size. Thus making it the Maserati of the Sea. In February we took a larger ship and the lines for food and challenge of finding pool seating made for a bad experience. There were still the typical chair saving people on board which never works out well but overall we found the ship experience a good one. We have been loyal Royal Caribbean travelers for some time now - about 6 cruises under our belts but I have to say this time we did experience some things which I think is a indicator of Royals future. I have noticed more and more retail shopping on board - buy purses, watches, paintings and constant sales pitches for fine dining even future cruises. However I find it interesting that when you try to talk to them about buying future travel excursions or upgrades on the next cruise they won't talk to you! Usually My Time Dining has worked out well for us. This time not so good. I think they sat us in the regular dining room because as we sat and ate our dessert the waiters were swarming all around us trying to swap out the dining room for the next seating. We felt very rushed and responsible for them not being able to complete their swap. It wasn't what we have experienced in the past. The next night they moved us to a better location, still on the same deck. The waiter assured us there would be no rush, he did a nice job of handling our requests and was very friendly. He asked us if we wanted to come back there and brought over the grumpy head waiter who said he would have to check. Never saw that waiter nor table ever again. In fact they too were having to turn over the dining room so we still felt rushed but the waiter stood with us and assured us we were ok. On our fourth night (we skipped the third due to these issues) we got a table on the My Time Dining floor and it was better but it should not of taken four days to do this. In Santonini they tendered us to shore. What a cluster! This was probably one of the most unorganized things I have seen on a Royal ship. Imagine the lines you see at the airport when waiting to board the plane. Same here. People very confused, people all jamming into small ship hallways to "be the first one off" - even though they had given out tender assignments at 7am that morning. The staff seems very confused and frustrated with the whole process. I just find the ignorance of people to each other irritating. People all thinking they should go first are clogging up the entrance area - no one paying attention to the rules being said via loudspeaker and just an overall rush. Thank God this wasn't some kind of emergency - I could see people just running each other over to be first. Royal needed security to get into these hallways and limit those near the steps to those who had tickets to be in the area. We had boarding tickets for tender 3 and watched these women with tickets for tender 18 trying to get their way in. There is just no way they should of even been in the area. The return to the ship from Santorini was just as complicated. The safest way down the cliff was the gondolas. There was a line throughout the town just waiting to get down. As the minutes clicked off until the ship left, the line never seemed to get shorter. The ONLY saving grace to this whole process was that an officer from the ship was sent up there to yell out to people "don't worry we are not going to leave you". Just a very poor start to our week tour and something we had in our heads each time we got ready to leave the ship on the next days tour. Overall I felt the smaller ship was much less crowded. We had nice seating for breakfast and lunch. I got into it with one woman about her saving multiple seats for her friends, even while she sat and looked at a sign which said no seat reserving. The ignorance is just rampant on cruise ships as everyone feels they are immune to the rules and respect for other passengers. That only seems to increase as you add more and more people to a ship. We now will look for smaller cruise lines where there isn't as much of this type of attitude and hopefully enjoy other passengers along the way. We like Royal but I really am seeing a change in their approach to cruising - it's all about making more money vs. the Royality of being a cruise passenger. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
When we decided we wanted to cruise the Med, the itinerary and price point were very important to us. We have cruised several times before on DCL and Celebrity, however, we wanted to save the money for excursions and extra time in Italy. ... Read More
When we decided we wanted to cruise the Med, the itinerary and price point were very important to us. We have cruised several times before on DCL and Celebrity, however, we wanted to save the money for excursions and extra time in Italy. We chose the 7 night Croatia and Greece cruise to celebrate high school graduations and birthdays. We cruised as a party of 15. Prior to embarkation, we spent 4 days exploring Florence and 1 night in Venice. Loved both of the cities. We arrived at the port around 11:30 am via water taxi and check in was easy. Soon after, we were on deck 4 with our embarkation drinks. We were able to secure our specialty dining reservations for the cruise (we purchased the 3-night dinner package but ended up going the 4th night since the dining room food was not very good) which was handled quickly for our large party. By 1:00, staterooms were ready. We met our cabin attendant, Marilyn, who was exceptional. We always like to give a tip to our attendants on day 1 to show our appreciation to their hard work- they are truly like ninjas- coming into the room, cleaning, and leaving before we get back from a meal. We asked for ice daily and she freshened it twice a day. Dining: The main dining room food was not very good. Sometimes it came out cold, the quality was just OK, and drinks took a very long time to come. We only ate at the main dining room twice for dinner and twice for breakfast. Entertainment and Activities: We loved trivia in Schooners Lounge! So much fun and the bartenders and servers there were fantastic. On sea days, we would have liked to have more activities for the kids and adults. We did participate in wine tasting, which was just OK. On this ship, the rock wall and a tiny arcade was the only thing our 13 yr. old kids enjoyed. The shows were nothing spectacular- reminded me of Las Vegas lounge entertainment. The only show we enjoyed was a "magician- comedian". The ports were great! We really loved seeing this part of the world and took advantage of our excursions. Overall, we had a great time. There were some disappointments along the way, (main dining room, older ship, lack of activities on a sea day) but nothing that would keep us from cruising RCCL again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was my husbands first cruise and my 3rd. He was a reluctant cruiser so we choose this Greece-Croatia Mediterranean cruise as it had many port stops and was only 7 nights. Turns out he loved it. We chose a balcony cabin which gave ... Read More
This was my husbands first cruise and my 3rd. He was a reluctant cruiser so we choose this Greece-Croatia Mediterranean cruise as it had many port stops and was only 7 nights. Turns out he loved it. We chose a balcony cabin which gave us many opportunities to view the beautiful ports as we came and left. Breakfast became a must on our balcony as we soon found we did not enjoy Windjammers selections for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In saying that we used Windjammers for snacking-taking fresh fruit, cereal,milk,yoghurt and cheese back to the room. We tried izumis-Japanese-nice, Chops-good steaks and Giovannis-italian all were quite tasty. The mainlining room for main meals were also good-no complaints here. The service staff on the whole ship ere really marvellous, diligent, attentive and do now how to make you feel special. From our young assitant waiter Dmitrii to Oscar-our room attendant and Rowena and Joah our drink waiters we could not fault their service. We did enjoy The Schooner Bar and particularly liked the Pianist/singer in the late evenings. Entertainment onboard was a bit hit and miss-one show we walked out of because the female lead was so out of key we couldn't watch-whether or not that was sound or ear piece issues we were unsure-but many people were taking about it the next day. However there were many other options around the ship to enjoy oneself, particularly at sea days. The ship itself could definitely do with a revamp, outdated furnishings etc...but it was clean and comfortable. The ports- *Dubrovnik-cool-we hired a scooter on our own from Modena scooter hire and it proved to be a very fun day. *Kotor-Montenegro-boring,but the day went was raining and had lots of could coverage-we went on the Grand Montenegro Day excursion-I do not recommend it *Santorini-big let down because of thousand of tourists. w did the Oia Village tour which encompassed a winery tasting-worse wine I have ever tasted.I do not recommend this tour. Oia itself is stunning but you d nt get to enjoy any of it because of the crowds. *Katakalon- Loved it *Venice-Loved it Verdict we like cruising, and will definitely do it again Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Overall we had a great vacation. The ship appeared to be in great shape and had a wonderful crew that was very friendly and attentive. Food was a hit and miss on certain days in the main dining room, however the windjammer was a pleasant ... Read More
Overall we had a great vacation. The ship appeared to be in great shape and had a wonderful crew that was very friendly and attentive. Food was a hit and miss on certain days in the main dining room, however the windjammer was a pleasant surprise. We didn't go to all the shows, but made sure to see the magician multiple times. He performed a lot of older tricks, but his stage presence was great. We chose this ship for the destinations and majority of the ports did not disappoint. The kids had a fantastic time learning about the history and seeing the different sites, but probably loved the beach day in Mykonos more than any other day. Excursions Rome - Colosseum Tour with Arena Floor with The Roman Guy, a lot of walking but get a great overview of the Roman Forum and Colosseum Sicily - Taormina and Blue Grotto (through Royal Caribbean) Nice old city with a fantastic snack of Granita and Brioche. Blue Grotto was a bit disappointing, but the boat ride was great to see the coast line Malta - Walked the city and went to the upper Barrakka Gardens, good view of the port Mykonos - Walked to Agios Stefanos beach and rented a couple loungers Santorini - Tour with Santorini exports, drove around the island and visited a nice little vineyard Athens - Private tour with My Athens Tour, was able to see a lot of the city including Acropolis and also the changing of the guards Naples - Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii (through Royal Caribbean) This was a nice tour, but very disorganized. Only had about 1 hour for Pompeii which was a bit disappointing. Rome - Vatican tour with Walks of Italy. Long day, but great to see all the works of art inside the Vatican Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My friend chose the cruise, and I joined her when her cabin mate cancelled. The crew seemed happy even though they work really, really hard. Our servers were attentive, friendly and very focused on making us happy with our food. Chris, ... Read More
My friend chose the cruise, and I joined her when her cabin mate cancelled. The crew seemed happy even though they work really, really hard. Our servers were attentive, friendly and very focused on making us happy with our food. Chris, our cabin steward brought me distilled water and an extension cord for my CPAP machine, and tried everything possible to help me make it work, since it was missing a gasket in the reservoir. The food was up and down, with the apple pie being star of the show and the best prime rib I've had in ages. I tried the special meal of whole lobster one night, which was good but not delicious, and not worth the extra charge. As for the shore excursions, I wasn't up for so much walking, but it was good for me to do some of it. The storage in our cabin was great, and there was enough room for everything we brought. The string quartet/comedy group was absolutely one of the best I've seen anywhere. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We truly enjoyed our time on the Vision of the Seas for our 12 day Mediterranean sailing. This was our 4th cruise, and first Mediterranean sailing, but definitely something we are considering doing again in the future. Above all else ... Read More
We truly enjoyed our time on the Vision of the Seas for our 12 day Mediterranean sailing. This was our 4th cruise, and first Mediterranean sailing, but definitely something we are considering doing again in the future. Above all else we were most impressed with the staff on this ship. I could sense the comradory between all of them. In the dining areas in particular I loved seeing how the upper level staff quickly, and happily, stepped in to clear tables, refill drinks, and dispense hand sanitizer; it says a lot about the level of team work within the crew. Room: This was our first trip with a non balcony room. We had a picture window, and the room was quite a bit smaller than we are used to. There is a good amount of storage, and many hangers, so all of our clothing fit well. There are not self service laundry service onboard the ship, however they offered wash and dry service for $25 many times throughout the trip which many took advantage of. The ship also could stand to be updated throughout, but overall serves its purpose. Itinerary: We chose this sailing for the ports of call. We sailed from Barcelona, then went to Cannes, Florence/Pisa, Rome, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Valletta. We booked all of our excursions independently of the ship, except for Cannes, which we were not impressed with. Our biggest complaint was the length of time in port in Santorini and Valletta. I know this is because of time restrictions, but as was mentioned by the staff, Santorini was truly the crown jewel of itinerary this for many, and the day in port was less than 8 hours, which made it very difficult, especially with tenders and the long que (over an hour) to get down the lifts to the tenders at the end of the day. It simply didn’t leave enough time to truly take in Oia and Fira. Other than two days we did feel the ports of call were perfect in length and location. Food: I’ll preface this by saying we aren’t particularly picky eaters. We enjoyed all of our meals in the dining room, though some were more our style than others. Even with a dairy free eater and vegetarian in our party we were all able to find something off the menu each night, and it was different each evening as well. The dessert menu is my only complaint, and mainly because of the dairy free restriction, there just weren’t many options, but it’s also something we’ve come to expect in this area. Lunch we highly recommend the dining room. Their lunch menu is arguably better than the dinner menu and the salad and pasta bar are incredible. There is also sit down breakfast, or a breakfast buffet in the dining room, though we ended up in the windjammer most mornings for more options. The breakfast hours were quite limited, and there was no sea Day brunch as we have come to expect from Caribbean cruises. Entertainment: This was our biggest disappointment this trip BUT much of this comes from the fact that we are not the “typical” demographic for this sailing. As 25 year olds we did not have much interest in many of the music shows put on, though we did enjoy a few of the headliner shows. We also did not feel there was much entertainment on sea days- we’ve come to enjoy the group games and activities, and beyond trivia, music, bingo, and some art activities, there weren’t many of these. With such a port intensive- and intense ports (think walking 8 miles a day)- the 10:30pm game shows would be much better served earlier in the evening when more could enjoy them. We did stay up for a few and were unsurprised by the low turnout due to the time and days in port. There was always something going on in the centrum in the evenings and this did a great job of bringing people together and was a truly enjoyable time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the ports that were being visited and also we had never sailed with royal carribean before. The ship itself is quite tired in a lot of places and in need of re-fit. On the plus side quite small so easy to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports that were being visited and also we had never sailed with royal carribean before. The ship itself is quite tired in a lot of places and in need of re-fit. On the plus side quite small so easy to get around great feel a lot going on in the evenings and day the orchestra were excellent as were most of the shows. A very varied mix of people from many different countries which we enjoyed. Food was also on the whole very good and waiters excellent as were all the staff we encountered. We had cabin 3612 ocean view and have to say avoid if can. The smallest cabin we have had which would have been okay but very tired looking smelled a bit musty. Window was very rusty and furniture scraped and marked. I also found makeup from person before under bed when went to put cases underneath. Bathroom was decent and shower good. We found it fairly quiet too and near to lifts and convenient for restaurants and getting on and off at docks etc in its favour. However we soon found a smell of which I can only describe as when you clean a bath pipe out at home outside our main door and also inside the door and when opened wardrobe where clothes where stank on occasions. Sometimes was not there but most times was. We did tell main reception and they did try and sort think was coming from waste pipes next to room and also door opposite room for staff clearing cutlery from rooms etc. But only was better for a day or so the. Came back occasionally again. To be fair they have given us 20 % off next cruise with them to the value of this cruise but would rather have had money back or been moved rooms but that was not possible as ship full. I would not choose this room again or any near it. The cruise itself was great ports fantastic and staff very friendly and a good vibe on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The service on the ship was fabulous! We were traveling with another couple and had a great time. We chose this ship because of the itinerary. And it did not disappoint!! I almost wish there had been one more day at sea so we could have ... Read More
The service on the ship was fabulous! We were traveling with another couple and had a great time. We chose this ship because of the itinerary. And it did not disappoint!! I almost wish there had been one more day at sea so we could have had more time to enjoy the ship. We had a balcony and our cabin was very comfortable. The food was average. There is a nice selection and my favorite restaurants were the Steak House and Japanese Cuisine. We participated in the Chef's Dining Table and it was just OK. I think the most fun was we had at the dance parties that they had almost every night. They were a riot!! The entertainment was ok. There was a good mix but some of the acts weren't great. There is a lot to do on the ship so it's easy to find something you like. All in all we had a great time and definitely enjoyed our time on the Jewel! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Although we'd been looking to sail on Holland America after a good experience with our last cruise, we chose this cruise with Royal Caribbean because the itinerary was exactly what we were looking for: ports in Italy and Greece. ... Read More
Although we'd been looking to sail on Holland America after a good experience with our last cruise, we chose this cruise with Royal Caribbean because the itinerary was exactly what we were looking for: ports in Italy and Greece. We bookended our trip with several nights in Rome, staying at an outstanding, hidden gem of a boutique hotel, The Inn at the Roman Forum. Our hotel secured transport for us from the hotel to the port in Civitavecchia. We booked a Grand Suite on the ship, so had priority boarding. Both embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze, handled very efficiently, as was the security muster. There was a broader age range of passengers on this cruise than on our last cruise, which we enjoyed. Our suite, 1048, was very spacious and comfortable. The bed was comfortable, but the pillows weren't. They provided 6 (!) king size pillows, but they were all the same: too thick and firm. The food was acceptable, but nothing special. Most of it fell under my brother-in-law's description of cruise ship food: "abundantly adequate." Our steak at Chops Grill was quite good, though. Entertainment was uneven. They had one good headliner from the UK who put on a very good performance, singing Frank Sinatra songs and the like, and he actually got a standing ovation! (Think people were just grateful for a good quality entertainer!) The highlights of the cruise were the quality of the service and the shore excursions. All across the board, the crew was friendly, helpful, and eager to be of service. Rosen, our cabin steward, always greeted us cheerfully and was very efficient and helpful. Zo and Meng, our waiters in the Main Dining Room, were attentive, quick and efficient, and made sure we had whatever we needed. Aline, our concierge, answered our questions patiently, and was a great resource. We were impressed with all our shore excursions, which were very efficiently and effectively organized. One stood out: the Athens and Cape Sounion with Lunch tour. It was long but thorough, our guide was extremely knowledgeable and professional, we had ample free time, and saw the Parthenon before the crowds arrived. A nice surprise: the buffet lunch at the Intercontinental was exceptional! We would highly recommend this excursion. While we were disappointed at not getting to see Santorini due to weather issues, overall we were pleased with the cruise and would consider sailing with Royal Caribbean again in the future if there's an itinerary that looks appealing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This cruise began in Rome and went to various Greek Islands, then back to Italy at Naples and then concluded at Rome. It was nine days, two of which were sea days. We booked excursions at each port and prior to the cruise, we spent a week ... Read More
This cruise began in Rome and went to various Greek Islands, then back to Italy at Naples and then concluded at Rome. It was nine days, two of which were sea days. We booked excursions at each port and prior to the cruise, we spent a week in Rome. Greece was in ruins. Well, actually, there were a lot of other things, too. We thought the best two ports were Crete and Rhodes from a history standpoint and really enjoyed those. Santorini was also great. Athens is just another big city with a few interesting thing, but it is still very important historically and was worth the trip. Accessibility was an issue at times. Walking was, at times, rigorous so be careful of the excursions you book. The ship was clean and well maintained as was our cabin. We did, however, pay an additional amount to have a balcony cabin on Deck 9 on the very stern of the ship. Every morning, it was covered with soot from the engines, but the steward wiped it down on his clean-up of the cabin. It wasn't really a problem, just something to be aware of if you book those cabins in back. They were worth it for the view and additional balcony space, though. Food in the main dining room was disappointing. It seems that it has lost a lot of quality and it is not much different from the Windjammer. The advantage to the dining room though, is that you get table service and the very nature of the dining experience limits quantity. We had no beef that was done properly. We would have gone to Chops, but frankly, if they can't get prime rib right in the main dining room, they probably won't when you pay an additional 40 bucks for it. This is the first cruise we've taken (out of about a total of 10) where most of our meals were at the buffet, solely due to the lack of quality in the dining room. Overall, Jewel of the Seas is a good ship and we'd do this same cruise again and we recommend it to others, just be wary of the food quality and all of the walking on cobblestones. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
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