We had a lovely 14 day cruise of Montenegro, Croatia, the Greek Isles and western coast of Italy. Each stop was unique and the weather cooperative. I wish we were younger so that we could have done more exploring. Be prepared for the added costs of internet, drinks and gratuities.
4 out of 5
Seemed a bit chaotic at first. We had to take a number and sit to wait. Someone eventually noticed my husdand needed transportation assistance and we were expedited through.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
Main dining rooms were pleasantly appearing and staff very accommodating. Menu changed each evening. Buffet had an extensive array of food choices. We ate breakfast every day at the outdoor cafe'. Drinks are expensive.
3 out of 5
Seemed like there was loud music wherever we went except the library and card rooms, but to get there you needed to go through the pool area. Pool water was cool but very salty; my eyes stung for hours after. I only got in once. I attended 2 Art Auctions, just for fun and won a bottle of bubbly at one of the raffle drawings.
4 out of 5
We enjoyed the shows every evening except one solo violinist who has the microphone on her violin strings so it was way too loud. We discovered it's not as loud if you sit as far from the stage as possible.
We brought no grandchildren.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
As always, we had no complaints for the room stewards and other ship personnel. They enjoy telling there personnel stories from around the world.
4 out of 5
Crew was constantly cleaning and painting in order to keep the whole ship well maintained.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Cots were comfortable, room size was adequate for us. We had an aft end room and I was worried about the sway, but did not experience any. In addition it allowed us to have a nice size window with a ledge for extra shelf space, if needed. We did have a fair amount of engine noise at night.
The Pearl is a nice size ship and we would book it again. Internet access was ridiculously expensive and ports did not always have WiFi.
We started and ended here, then stayed 2 more days. The port is quite a distance from the airport and from downtown Rome. Expect to pay a lot for a taxi or other transportation. There is much to see and do in Rome. We purchased a 2-day Hop-On/Off ticket in addition to seeing the Colosseum and the Vatican, a must do experience.
This is a tender port. The area makes its own weather. I was told it is often cloudy and misty. We took a Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus tour right off the dock. Glad we did and it rained before the end of the tour.
The port is within walking distance of the local bus station and an ATM Machine. It's the only stop where you need local currency. We took the local to the Old City. It was crowded with tour groups, and hot. Be sure to take water. Had to pay extra to get up to the cat walk and it was an hour's wait with difficult stone steps. Not good for someone with ambulatory issues.
The dock is a hike to the customs building and free shuttles go to and from there. Once outside the building we walked to the Hop-On-Hop-Off buses, which are the best way to see the area when you only have 6 hours or so. We went around twice, got off once to visit the old fort (6 Euros each).
This was another tender port and we stayed on the ship. We could see the steep mountain right off the dock. There was a chair lift or a donkey ride to the mountain top city. At least 3 people were injured on excursions, one broke his ankle. Glad we stayed on the ship.
Athens is a huge old city, not that impressive. We walked a distance from the landing dock, in search of a Hop-On/Off bus, but we were approached by a taxi driver who took us on a private tour. Because of our age (72 & 75) and my husband's bad knee, we enjoyed the drive. He knew smaller side streets and photo stops so as to avoid the backed-up traffic. He took us to a coffee shop at the foot of the Acropolis so we have great photos. But again, it was too crowded and rocky to suit us so we were perfectly content.
Actually, Taormina was another tender port, but the sea was too choppy so we docked at the port in Messina, 32 miles away. We had no scheduled excursions so we walked off the pier to the cathedral plaza and took an open car/train city tour, then had canoli and tea at an outdoor cafe'.
We did not want to stay in the city as there is so much else to see outside Naples. We hired a driver for the day who took us past Mt. Vesuvius, to a switch back drive overlooking the city and on to the Amalfi Coast. It was well worth the money.
Because this is an active commercial port there is a mandatory 5 Euro per person round trip shuttle ride into the city. Since I had already been to Florence (a 2 hour drive from port) and Pisa (30 minutes away) we elected to go into town. We had pasta and wine at an outdoor cafe' then walked through the open air market.
This was the forth and last tender port. The view of the country and the sea from the ship is impressive. We walked the cat-walk to the Oceanographic Museum. Any farther and we would have run into more tour groups. We did not get to see the Palace, and opted not to go to the casino.
5 out of 5
We had time for breakfast before our luggage color was called. We got right off the ship, snagged our bags and hailed a taxi.
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