One of the best vacations we have been on. The ports are intersting and offered many beautiful choices. It is hard to just pick one thing to do, knowing you will miss other things. there are far more excursions available ship board than the ones offered on line. I recommend grabbing a few before you go and booking the rest as soon as you get on board Sunday.
4 out of 5
Easy...suggest getting there early.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
As adults...we aren't into the activities...but my teen son (16) LOVED LOVED the teen experience and made many international friends.
5 out of 5
the shows we saw were wonderful
3 out of 5
my 16 year old was in heaven. Unfortunately my 12 year old didn't much enjoy the programming. There was a big effort by the crew, but there just weren't many of the 12-14 kids participating. Also, while I was ok with my 16 year old going off and having a 1 am curfew as long as he was willing to suffer getting up at 7, that is't so for my 12 year old. Many of the 12 year old stuff to do ALSO started at 10 or later. So even though the events are separated by age, for the most part they run concurrently. And parties from 10 to 1 are not reasonable for the younger teens. The boat staff should re think that timing and program slightly earlier things.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
all great, but the housekeeping staff really deserves serious stars. Excellent and really friendly
We visited on our own before the cruise. You must buy tickets ahead of time to visit La Sagrada or Park Gaudi. Tip....the park is free before 8 am....and has less (WAY LESS) people, otherwise there is timed entry. Also, get your La Sagrada tickets directly from them for $15, you must get a timed entry.
Our favorite was a private guide out of Marsallie to Aix en Provance and Cassis. That was a tough stop.....no matter how much you see you will feel like you miss a TON. Same with the Nice stop. We went to Eze and Monte Carlo. Our teen age son says Monte Carlo is better than any car show he ever went to ....all the Saudi princes were there showing off their multi million dollar cars. He did a private tour being the passenger in a Ferrari and was in heaven.
Villefranche is an adorable place and there is not a need to do anything but get off the ship...or visit the beach, however we went into Eze which is absoultley the roof of the Med. the crowd off the ship was a pain though. We actually got off the ship as early as possible. Took a taxi (super pricy at $50) to Eze and enjoyed it without the crowds. On our way out the ships excursion showed up and they were so packed I can't imagine they enjoyed the gardens much. Then, to leave Eze, we took the very cheap and easy public bus. There is a very helpful tourism office literally at the bus stop to make sure you get on the right bus or train back to the ship. My son and husband split from myself and daughter to go to Monte Carlo and drove a Ferrari . I think it was the highlight of his life.
I would not recommend staying in La Spezia....we did the tour of La Cinque Terra and it was out of this world. Other folks seemed to enjoy their Florence and Piza trips. Although personally having been to Florence, I can't imainge seeing that city in only 3 hours.
That town has NOTHING ....YOU must take one of the busses to Rome or don't bother even getting off the ship.. This stop is purely for enjoying Rome. We took the see Rome on your own, but upgraded to a "skip the lines" tour of St. Peters. If you want to see St Peter, you MUST do this. Security wraps around St. Peter square and is HOURS long. If you plan to get around by taxi...always negotiate and always carefully hand over the money. We took 3 cabs..and 2 of them made a real effort to get in our faces that we handed them a 5 instead of a 20. Rome is a cool place...but the sense that "they are out to get you" is huge....better to just book a nice ship excursion and let the professionals deal with all of it.
The boat staff was wonderful, and during our trip was when the terrosits attacked in Barcelona. Obviously this shook us terribly. The crew was great upon return making sure everyone was prepared for the additional security and ensuring swift and easy returns.
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