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Hi everyone, I'm a multiple time Royal Carribean (RCCL) cruiser here (we love RCCL) and I thought I'd share that I took my family of 7 (80 yr old in laws, wife and 3 teenagers) in July 2018 on a Mediterranean cruise with RCCL and it was a great cruise with only one problem that our three sleeping cabins got flooded one day at 4:00 am when a pipe burst in the hallway. However, RCCL gave us all a fair cruise credit for the inconvenience and overall we still had a great time. 
 

We drove from Portland Oregon to San Jose, CA flew to London England where we spent a couple days in London and then flew to Barcelona spent a couple days there then departed on RCCL ship and ours stops where Cannes, Florence, Rome, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Malta.  RCCL ship and staff were fantastic with great customer service, nightly shows, tasty food and smooth sailing. 

Tip! In July much of the time and some of the places we toured it was hot in the 90s F (32c) and lots of walking in hot sun on marble tile so if you don't like hot weather go earlier in the year!

We loved seeing all the history in the buildings and people we saw and met on this cruise.  We think we could skip Malta Valletta as we didn't like it there as much as the other stops.

I did make 12 vlogs of our entire trip if you are interested in seeing where we went and hearing more commentary.  However, I don't know if it's allowed to post a link here to my Youtube channel so I'll just say you can go to Youtube search for RockstarBruski and click on the the cruise playlist, scroll down and look for the 2018 Europe  Mediterranean family vacation vlog series of 12 videos.

I included a pic of my whole family in front of the ship pose.  So cheesy but so fun! Cheers and keep on cruising! 😎 RockstarBruski
 

2018-europe-cruise-vlog-thumbnail.png

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36 minutes ago, RockstarBruski said:

mom2mybugs thanks have a great time!  Make sure you use lots of sunblock, drink lots of water and find some shade to take rest breaks. 🙂

My husband is gonna die in that heat! Sunblock will be high on his list!  I have lots of questions...did you do an Airbnb in Barcelona and what neighborhood were you in?  Did you like the bus tour?   How old were your kids?  We are taking our 16 year old and she is not expecting to see a lot of teens on this trip...what was your experience?   I have now watched through Cannes!  You have made my day...winter in Illinois is not going away so I’m living through your trip until ours!   Jane

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mom2mybugs yes we stayed in an airbnb in Barcelona but I'm not sure I would stay there again as it was ok but a bit further out from downtown than I wanted to be.  I can't remember the neighborhood it was in but it was a fairly decent neighborhood across the street for a nice big shopping mall.

We did like the bus tour but it was very hot and streets were very crowded.  The bus tour gives you an audio guide via ear buds but I prefer having a live human tour guide but I'm not sure if those are offered there or not but I would recommend you do some research or ask around as there might be an air conditioned bus tour option with a live tour guide in Barcelona. Check with RCCL as they might have that as a tour they will sell you.  That would be ideal and my in laws did a tour like that in Malta which was much better than the open top bus tour with the recorded audio guide bus that we took in Malta. 

For Athens, Florence and Rome we took air condition bus tours arranged through RCCL and they were all great tours and very comfortable but know there will be a lot of walking in hot and humid weather but pace yourself, bring water bottles and you'll be fine as I've visited Illinois in the summer time and you get about the same type hot humidity in the summer. 🙂

Our kids ages are 14yr old girl, 18yr old boy and 20yr old boy.  They all did very well and it's nice on a ship as we let them do what they wanted on at sea days but we had one rule that they needed to be at our dinner table at 6:00PM so that we could all eat dinner together and they actually liked that.

Let me know if you have any other questions as I'm glad to help out and it snowed today here in Portland Oregon (not as much as Illinois) but I'm ready for winter to be OVER and summer to be here!

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for sharing your trip. We need more European posts. Glad you had a great time. Agree with you on what time of year to head to the Mediterranean.  We did the 12 night Venice out of Barcelona a few years back in October and soo much more comfortable temps. Did one in July out of Rome and OMG the heat !!! Was barely tolerable.

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4 hours ago, DRLPP said:

Thank you for sharing your trip. We need more European posts. Glad you had a great time. Agree with you on what time of year to head to the Mediterranean.  We did the 12 night Venice out of Barcelona a few years back in October and soo much more comfortable temps. Did one in July out of Rome and OMG the heat !!! Was barely tolerable.

Thanks DRLLP!  Good to know that October is better as I'd like to take another European cruise in the future.  Anybody out there go any other months on the Med cruise and want to share about how the weather was on your trip?

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1 hour ago, RockstarBruski said:

Thanks DRLLP!  Good to know that October is better as I'd like to take another European cruise in the future.  Anybody out there go any other months on the Med cruise and want to share about how the weather was on your trip?

We went on Harmony her 4th full cruise out of the ship builders, we departed Barcelona June 28, 2016, Barcelona was good as far as temperature but Rome and Naples were hot and muggy, my wife got so hot that she skipped the Pompeii tour and just sat at the bottom and waited.

Weird coincidence, out room on Harmony flooded, a drain that was in a utility closet outside our door clogged (I guess it was used to drain the pool) and it flooded a total of 6 rooms. Royal also made good with a significant future cruise credit. It really bummed us for awhile, it was the last day of the cruise, the only sea day (Port intensive) and we tried to sleep in, house keeping was banging on our door about 8 so they could start cleaning the room up.

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13 hours ago, mom2mybugs said:

My husband is gonna die in that heat! Sunblock will be high on his list!  I have lots of questions...did you do an Airbnb in Barcelona and what neighborhood were you in?  Did you like the bus tour?   How old were your kids?  We are taking our 16 year old and she is not expecting to see a lot of teens on this trip...what was your experience?   I have now watched through Cannes!  You have made my day...winter in Illinois is not going away so I’m living through your trip until ours!   Jane

@mom2mybugs , in Barcelona we stayed 1 day post cruise, we used a company called Barcelona Day Tours, small van/bus tour that meet us at our hotel (10-12 people) went to all of the big sites in Barcelona and then drove out to Montserrat, this church/monastery is truly amazing, they provided a human tour guide the whole time, even when we were out walking around, they pre-bought all of the entrance tickets so you don't have to. The guide we had was very, very informative.

I would say the Monastery and the Sagrada Familia were my favorite sites in Barcelona.

In Italy we used a company called Rome Private excursions, since we were only 2 people we hooked up with 3 other couples from CC to split the cost, made it very affordable. All of the vans were new, well kept and the guides were again very informative, as a group we liked the guide so well in Rome that we asked if he could do our Naples tour to the Amalfi coast the next day and he agreed. drove down over the night and meet us in Naples and took us on our tour. Again all of the entrance tickets were pre-purchased so we didn't have to stand in any lines, you don't truly understand what this means until you see the lines waiting to get in to the Vatican (A must see). Our drivers also took us to some amazing places to eat. They want to stay away from all of the tourist traps where all of the big tour buses from the ship go. Since there were only 8 of us in a small van he could go where he wanted.

Hope this helps.

From my research the shoulder seasons are the best time to go, but due to scheduling conflicts we had to go during semi-peak time. I guess try and stay away from August, if I remember correctly that is when a lot of Europeans take the vacation.

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28 minutes ago, tiny260 said:

We went on Harmony her 4th full cruise out of the ship builders, we departed Barcelona June 28, 2016, Barcelona was good as far as temperature but Rome and Naples were hot and muggy, my wife got so hot that she skipped the Pompeii tour and just sat at the bottom and waited.

Weird coincidence, out room on Harmony flooded, a drain that was in a utility closet outside our door clogged (I guess it was used to drain the pool) and it flooded a total of 6 rooms. Royal also made good with a significant future cruise credit. It really bummed us for awhile, it was the last day of the cruise, the only sea day (Port intensive) and we tried to sleep in, house keeping was banging on our door about 8 so they could start cleaning the room up.

Sorry to hear your room flooded!  Other than waking me up at 4:00AM it wasn't too bad as we were visiting Santorini that day so they had all the carpets ripped out of the flooded rooms and hallways by the time we got back from touring Santorini.  They did have to run big fans to dry everything out for a couple of days which was a bit annoying but understandable and yes they gave us some future cruise credits which we used to go to the Bahamas so they made it right and it's understandable that things like this happen from time to time. 🙂

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9 minutes ago, tiny260 said:

@mom2mybugs , in Barcelona we stayed 1 day post cruise, we used a company called Barcelona Day Tours, small van/bus tour that meet us at our hotel (10-12 people) went to all of the big sites in Barcelona and then drove out to Montserrat, this church/monastery is truly amazing, they provided a human tour guide the whole time, even when we were out walking around, they pre-bought all of the entrance tickets so you don't have to. The guide we had was very, very informative.

I would say the Monastery and the Sagrada Familia were my favorite sites in Barcelona.

In Italy we used a company called Rome Private excursions, since we were only 2 people we hooked up with 3 other couples from CC to split the cost, made it very affordable. All of the vans were new, well kept and the guides were again very informative, as a group we liked the guide so well in Rome that we asked if he could do our Naples tour to the Amalfi coast the next day and he agreed. drove down over the night and meet us in Naples and took us on our tour. Again all of the entrance tickets were pre-purchased so we didn't have to stand in any lines, you don't truly understand what this means until you see the lines waiting to get in to the Vatican (A must see). Our drivers also took us to some amazing places to eat. They want to stay away from all of the tourist traps where all of the big tour buses from the ship go. Since there were only 8 of us in a small van he could go where he wanted.

Hope this helps.

From my research the shoulder seasons are the best time to go, but due to scheduling conflicts we had to go during semi-peak time. I guess try and stay away from August, if I remember correctly that is when a lot of Europeans take the vacation.

Oh man I wish we had your great tour information when we toured Barcelona as that sounds WAY better than our hop on hop off big bus tour we took! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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1 hour ago, RockstarBruski said:

Sorry to hear your room flooded!  Other than waking me up at 4:00AM it wasn't too bad as we were visiting Santorini that day so they had all the carpets ripped out of the flooded rooms and hallways by the time we got back from touring Santorini.  They did have to run big fans to dry everything out for a couple of days which was a bit annoying but understandable and yes they gave us some future cruise credits which we used to go to the Bahamas so they made it right and it's understandable that things like this happen from time to time. 🙂

I'm kind of like you, S*** happens and it is what it is and in the end Royal took care of us. The only issue I had was this was the last day, eventually we had to be in the room to pack suite cases, as you said they had those huge fans blowing to try and dry stuff out but you are at sea, humidity everyplace.

I kind of ended up having a type of bronchial attach and couldn't stay in the room, so we got a hold of our room steward that got an officer, we were told  they were full up, no rooms, I said I couldn't sleep in there over night and told them I would sleep somewhere on the deck ( just kidding of course), we got ready for dinner not really knowing what we were going to do, this was also our first cruise as Diamond, so we went down and talked to the Diamond Concierge, she said let her see what she could do and check back after dinner.

Well, we were in a Junior Suite and she got us upgraded to a Grand suite for that last night so situation resolved. Good side was since we were in a Junior we only got to eat in Coastal Kitchen for Dinner, being in a grand we got to eat in there for breakfast on disembarkation day. So all good.

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1 hour ago, tiny260 said:

I'm kind of like you, S*** happens and it is what it is and in the end Royal took care of us. The only issue I had was this was the last day, eventually we had to be in the room to pack suite cases, as you said they had those huge fans blowing to try and dry stuff out but you are at sea, humidity everyplace.

I kind of ended up having a type of bronchial attach and couldn't stay in the room, so we got a hold of our room steward that got an officer, we were told  they were full up, no rooms, I said I couldn't sleep in there over night and told them I would sleep somewhere on the deck ( just kidding of course), we got ready for dinner not really knowing what we were going to do, this was also our first cruise as Diamond, so we went down and talked to the Diamond Concierge, she said let her see what she could do and check back after dinner.

Well, we were in a Junior Suite and she got us upgraded to a Grand suite for that last night so situation resolved. Good side was since we were in a Junior we only got to eat in Coastal Kitchen for Dinner, being in a grand we got to eat in there for breakfast on disembarkation day. So all good.

Wow that is great you got to stay in a Grand suite.  So far we've on'y stayed in inside rooms.  At the time of the flooding we too were told that all the rooms were full but we weren't diamond members yet so that is good to know that they have a Diamond Concierge!  Thanks for the tip! I need to read what all we get as Diamond members! 

Interestingly the day of the flooding since they woke me up at 4:00AM I went to the gym and worked out hard for 2 hours then walked around Santorini on the Marble reflecting the hot sun and all day I held a heavy tripod and camera gear in my hand and didn't drink enough water or get enough rest breaks.  So that evening on the ship I literally passed out at our dinner table onto my wife's shoulder.  I woke up in a few seconds but then went to ER where they checked my vitals and gave me an IV to re-hydrate my body.  That's why I keep telling people to make sure to hydrate, take lots of rest breaks and wear sun cover if they are out in the sun sight seeing during hot months like July! 🙂

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Just now, RockstarBruski said:

That's why I keep telling people to make sure to hydrate,

Agreed, this is very important, my wife's issue was multi faceted, the tour guide took us to an amazing Italian restaurant (Duhhh) up in the hills around Positano (Amalfi) the meal was amazing and came with all the Vino you wanted, then the drive back around very narrow twisting hills, 2 lane road, she basically got car sick, to hot, to much wine, so she sat out the Pompeii tour.

When I got back it was really cute, these little Italian women were taking care of her, she doesn't speak Italian and they didn't speak English, but they communicated.

DSC01940.JPG

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We actually plan at some point and time in the future to go back to the Amailfi coast and Positano (I think Capri is right there also) and spend a week at a resort.

2020 we are taking a 13 night Mediterranean beaches tour out of Southampton on Anthem, but the furthest East we go is Nice France, it is mostly all Spanish port and Gibraltar.

I agree, the people were amazing and seemed happy we were there.

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9 hours ago, tiny260 said:

@mom2mybugs , in Barcelona we stayed 1 day post cruise, we used a company called Barcelona Day Tours, small van/bus tour that meet us at our hotel (10-12 people) went to all of the big sites in Barcelona and then drove out to Montserrat, this church/monastery is truly amazing, they provided a human tour guide the whole time, even when we were out walking around, they pre-bought all of the entrance tickets so you don't have to. The guide we had was very, very informative.

I would say the Monastery and the Sagrada Familia were my favorite sites in Barcelona.

In Italy we used a company called Rome Private excursions, since we were only 2 people we hooked up with 3 other couples from CC to split the cost, made it very affordable. All of the vans were new, well kept and the guides were again very informative, as a group we liked the guide so well in Rome that we asked if he could do our Naples tour to the Amalfi coast the next day and he agreed. drove down over the night and meet us in Naples and took us on our tour. Again all of the entrance tickets were pre-purchased so we didn't have to stand in any lines, you don't truly understand what this means until you see the lines waiting to get in to the Vatican (A must see). Our drivers also took us to some amazing places to eat. They want to stay away from all of the tourist traps where all of the big tour buses from the ship go. Since there were only 8 of us in a small van he could go where he wanted.

Hope this helps.

From my research the shoulder seasons are the best time to go, but due to scheduling conflicts we had to go during semi-peak time. I guess try and stay away from August, if I remember correctly that is when a lot of Europeans take the vacation.

Thanks...I will definitely look up that Barcelona bus.  We fly in Wednesday morning and have Wednesday to Sunday to tour before boarding vision.  I'm hopeful the time will give us a bit of rest and relaxation as we have no choice but to go in July (2 teachers...ugh).  I will likely not mind the heat but my husband will need to drink.  What was the policy inside the Vatican and other places... Can you take refillable water bottles or should I just take water off the ship?  Jane

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Just now, mom2mybugs said:

Thanks...I will definitely look up that Barcelona bus.  We fly in Wednesday morning and have Wednesday to Sunday to tour before boarding vision.  I'm hopeful the time will give us a bit of rest and relaxation as we have no choice but to go in July (2 teachers...ugh).  I will likely not mind the heat but my husband will need to drink.  What was the policy inside the Vatican and other places... Can you take refillable water bottles or should I just take water off the ship?  Jane

In all the museums and churches, etc., we took in disposable water bottles that we bought in the towns and didn't have any problems.  I didn't see many places to refill water bottles but there were plenty of vendors selling cold water in disposable water bottles outside on the streets.

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Just now, RockstarBruski said:

In all the museums and churches, etc., we took in disposable water bottles that we bought in the towns and didn't have any problems.  I didn't see many places to refill water bottles but there were plenty of vendors selling cold water in disposable water bottles outside on the streets.

Good to know.  We will have the 3 very very long days in Florence, Rome and Athens that I want to hydrate like crazy!  Do you remember if they offered the drink cards?  I can't justify the cost to buy the drink PKG for 12 nights but would definitely buy the drink card.  Jane

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19 minutes ago, mom2mybugs said:

Good to know.  We will have the 3 very very long days in Florence, Rome and Athens that I want to hydrate like crazy!  Do you remember if they offered the drink cards?  I can't justify the cost to buy the drink PKG for 12 nights but would definitely buy the drink card.  Jane

I don't remember being offered the drink card.  We never buy a drink package as we're not big drinkers and we carry on two bottles of wine ont to the ship to enjoy at dinner then buy drinks here and there but our bar tab is always less money than the drink package.  I believe you can buy individual bottled water on the ship before you exit and have it added to your room.  They usually have some available before you exit.  Then we just bought some bottles on our way to places like Florence when our bus stopped at a convenience store and again there's usually vendors selling sealed cold bottle water.  You'll want to get some Euros to take with you for things like bottle water and other less expensive purchases from vendors.  For more expensive things use your credit card but check if your credit card charges foreign transaction fees or not so you are aware of that.

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