7 night cruise starting in Rome and stopping in Santorini, Mykonos, Athens and Katakalon (ancient Olympia) with a sea day at beginning and end. You don't arrive at the first stop, Santorini, until 1 pm and we found the tender process ... Read More
7 night cruise starting in Rome and stopping in Santorini, Mykonos, Athens and Katakalon (ancient Olympia) with a sea day at beginning and end. You don't arrive at the first stop, Santorini, until 1 pm and we found the tender process very slow so we didn't manage to get off the ship until after 2 pm. By that time the queue for the funicular up to Thira was long and everyone was getting hot and fractious. Thira is a pretty town with lovely views, souvenir shops and bars and restaurants, but I'd definitely recommend a dip in the sea before going up there. We took a boat trip from the old port (not a RC trip - we found ourselves) around the volcano and swimming in the caldera, which was truly one of the best experiences I have ever had. Timing of other stops - morning to late afternoon, is much better. We didn't take any of the RC tours but all sights very accessible independently.
Dining - we dined every night in the Edelweiss, early sitting. We were really happy with the food, standard of service (Demaciano and Frank) and very much enjoyed the company of our table companions. Our young teenagers were always made to feel very welcome, and some of the waiters also did a great sideline in magic tricks (Jaycee especially). Entertainment - there was something for everyone - my teenage daughter especially enjoyed the dancers and the acrobatics; my husband loved the piano bar and the singer Anthony Michaels, and the 70s disco inferno party was a spectacular and a real blast. The kids loved the rock climbing wall and Harriet and Stefan were very kind and encouraging.
My one real gripe was the sunbed situation on sea days. On the first day we didn't even manage to get one sunbed between the four of us, so many beds were "reserved" with towels, despite notices on the poolside saying this was not allowed. On the second morning, staff did start putting post it notes on sunbeds, limiting "reservations" to 30 minutes, but this was too little, too late. On the last day we were up really early to get our spot and ended up behaving like a family of meerkats every time someone wanted to get up to get a drink or do something else - not very relaxing. The staff are so excellent every where else I do think there should be more focus on this aspect - e.g. staff helping people to find a spot, clearing items left on sunbeds themselves rather than leaving passengers to do this; and having more beds in reserve on sea days - there was additional deck space which could be used.
The Windjammer is equally crowded, especially at breakfast times, with guests pretty rude, pushing and getting irritated. We mostly didn't get a table inside, but Windjammer is the only choice for breakfast if you wish to eat before 8:30 ( and you have to if you want a sunbed!). Contary to other reviews I've read, I thought the Windjammer food was ok for a mass produced buffet. Only other thing to mention is the wifi, which at 20 USD per day for one device is a complete rip off. I understand that service will be constrained at sea, but once in port, free wifi should be available - we are in the 21st century after all. Read Less