As a family of 4 (two kids aged 12 & 14) we really enjoyed our first cruise and long to do it again one day. I'm glad we chose RC as they seem do it so well and be one of the best cruiselines. We loved that we could visit some many places without unpacking and wondered each day what view would greet us when we awoke. It was also nice after a hot day exploring, to retreat to the cool air-conditioned santuary of the ship. We loved the food, service and entertainment.
What we didn't like was the constant pressure to spend even more money. This was a special occasion for us and not something we could do every year (or even 5 years) so it got a little irritating (to say the least) to have to be on our guard about spending more. We were lucky that we had the drinks packages as part of our deal (we booked early) so it was good not to think about that.
However, we did enjoy the cruise and wouldn't hesitate to book with RC again in the future.
Villefranche-Sur-Mer, France - Our favourite port - very pretty. Get on the train and visit Nice or Monaco. it's easy and cheaper to do your own thing. Don't forget to explore the back streets of Villefranches, it's really beautiful.
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy -
Barcelona, Spain - Great city. Recommend the open top bus tour, which gives you a taste of the whole city then you can decide where you want to get off and spend more time.
La Spezia, Italy - It's easy to visit the Cinque de Terre by train and boat. Free bus to the port terminal, taxi to the station then take the train. Buy the Cinque de Terre card in the port terminal as this allows unlimted travel on the train and saves time figuring out the confusing ticket machines.
Naples, Italy - We visited Pompeii using a local taxi, but wished we'd organised an excursion with a guide. It's hard to do Pompeii on your own when you've only got a few hours. Was very hot there too. Will return one day in a cooler season.
Marseille (Provence), France - We did our own thing. Used the tourist train to visit Notre dame de la gard , which gives fantastic views over the city. Take the free transfer bus not the ship transfer which is rip off.
Freedom of the Seas - Buy the drinks package, especially if you like a drink or three! It's good not to worry about the bill mounting up.
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