Hi. We are Leaving from Nice to Venice on October 26th. We stop in Rome, Capri, Sicily, Rhodes, Athens, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Kusadasi, and then Venice. Look forward to hearing from you. HOpe your trip is GREAT....
Barbara & Ken:
Our itinerary is different. Nice, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Livorno, Sorrento, Valletta, Sicily, and Rome. We sail 9/15. Of course, can't comment on a cruise before I've taken it. Radisson's book that was sent with the docs warns of pick-pockets in this area, so I'm taking some of those "hidden pocket" slacks. The shore excursion prices seem quite reasonable. This book shows average temperature highs for Oct. as low 70's and lows in the mid 50's. You'll have a formal night or two (depending on cruise length) and a few informal nights (meaning jacket for men but tie optional). Most, I think, are taking a dark suit with a coat that could double as a jacket on informal nights. The rest of the nights will be country club casual, meaning (for men) slacks, nice sports shirt, and loafers or similar. The ships have several self service laundrys.
The staff on Mariner is outstanding and especially warm. People do tend to dress up quite a bit.
One suggestion for a group of friends -- a pizza party in your cabin. Room service will do all the work, just tell them how many are coming. I did this the last night of the voyage and everyone had a ball.
On our cruise on the Mariner, we found just the opposite. The main dining room (Compass Rose) staff were very indifferent. Service was at best-lousy! The Signature restaurant Maitre D' was arrogant and the waiter was a complete jerk. In retrospect, we should have walked out. (The food there was not so hot either.) The pursers staff and the cabin staff were very nice. It is a beautiful ship and will be even nicer when they finish all the details that were left out at the shipyard.
Hi! as you might have guessed, we really liked our Mariner Nice to Rome cruise last month. I note that the only ports we have in common are Rome and Sicily. But in all of this area, don't take much cash if you have a credit card that will work on an ATM, cause they are all over the place. There's usually a $240 Euro per withdrawal maximum, however. We did a two night post cruise in Rome. If you have any pre cruise time, I recommend Bob's Limosine Service (www.Romelimosines.com), where a limo for four was $60 per hour total for the first 6 hours and $45 per hour thereafter. Great driver/guides. The Mercedes limos or minivans can go closer to the sights than the tour busses can go, making for less walking and seeing more in the time you have. Sicily was suprisingly beautiful. There, I also recommend getting together with another couple and getting a taxi/van for a private tour, as the narrow and winding streets don't provide tour bus access to everywhere you want to go. And don't take the city busses in Rome as that's where the pickpockets were working.
The ship, cabins, food,service, and entertainment were all excellent. One warning: Guests on our cruise mostly flew in to Nice (our embarkation port) through JFK or Paris, and there was a "rash" of delayed luggage due to general incompentency at JFK and a strike in Paris. Everyone with this problem got their luggage a day late, coordinated well by Radisson. however, if your flight plans take you through either of these airports, I'd recommend a couple of clothing changes in carry on luggage.
Even though most of your ports are different than ours, I predict you are in for one great cruise. This was our third on Radisson. Before we "discovered Radisson, we had given up cruising due to crowds, lines, small cabins, nickel and diming, and poor service on the mass market lines. Since our "discovery", we have resumed regular cruising, and have a couple more booked on Radisson in the not too distant future.