Jump to content

Just Back from Rome Interporting Cruise - Here are my thoughts


Recommended Posts

Hi friends! 

So we just got back from a med cruise out of Rome, and yes, I'm still feeling those post cruise blues. 🤣

I wanted to let you know what I thought about the interporting cruise to help you make an informed decision before booking yours (or to help put your mind at ease if you're already booked on it).

When we booked our cruise, we had no idea we were on an interporting cruise and quite frankly, had no idea it was even a thing. About one month prior to sailing, when we couldn't get our app to work, we finally heard from RC that it would not work since we were traveling out of Rome instead of Barcelona. 

Truthfully, my husband and I were a little irritated by it, and although I still don't understand why it's so difficult, we would totally book this cruise again.

Here's why:

✅ Since the amount of people embarking in Rome was so small comparatively, it was a complete breeze to get on the ship. 

✅ As soon as we took care of show and dinner reservations, we were allowed into our staterooms and our luggage was already waiting.

✅ Since most people were visiting Rome when we embarked, the ship was practically empty. In fact, when we got to Barcelona and the next set of travelers embarked, we saw a huge difference in how packed the ship was. Please don't mistake me... Royal Caribbean does a great job of controlling the crowds, but it was noticeable.

✅ The crew members were fantastic and made us feel just as special as we would have embarking in Barcelona. 

✅ We could still use the app on the ship to help us get around, as well as get the information we needed. We just couldn't use it to make reservations, which was no big deal. We had all our shows and dining reserved in about 20 minutes. (About 3 days before disembarking, we started getting notifications about upcoming reservations. I have no idea why the app started working, but it was nice.)

✅ When it was time for us to disembark, we walked right off the ship. Absolutely no lines! When we left our room, we were off the ship and met our driver in less than 10 minutes.

I highly recommend the interporting cruise and my husband and I both agreed, we will definitely do it again.

So for those of you who are interporting, I hope this helped you see the great advantages to booking this cruise. And for anyone considering it, BOOK IT! 

It was awesome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Tammy LR said:

Hi friends! 

So we just got back from a med cruise out of Rome, and yes, I'm still feeling those post cruise blues. 🤣

I wanted to let you know what I thought about the interporting cruise to help you make an informed decision before booking yours (or to help put your mind at ease if you're already booked on it).

When we booked our cruise, we had no idea we were on an interporting cruise and quite frankly, had no idea it was even a thing. About one month prior to sailing, when we couldn't get our app to work, we finally heard from RC that it would not work since we were traveling out of Rome instead of Barcelona. 

Truthfully, my husband and I were a little irritated by it, and although I still don't understand why it's so difficult, we would totally book this cruise again.

Here's why:

✅ Since the amount of people embarking in Rome was so small comparatively, it was a complete breeze to get on the ship. 

✅ As soon as we took care of show and dinner reservations, we were allowed into our staterooms and our luggage was already waiting.

✅ Since most people were visiting Rome when we embarked, the ship was practically empty. In fact, when we got to Barcelona and the next set of travelers embarked, we saw a huge difference in how packed the ship was. Please don't mistake me... Royal Caribbean does a great job of controlling the crowds, but it was noticeable.

✅ The crew members were fantastic and made us feel just as special as we would have embarking in Barcelona. 

✅ We could still use the app on the ship to help us get around, as well as get the information we needed. We just couldn't use it to make reservations, which was no big deal. We had all our shows and dining reserved in about 20 minutes. (About 3 days before disembarking, we started getting notifications about upcoming reservations. I have no idea why the app started working, but it was nice.)

✅ When it was time for us to disembark, we walked right off the ship. Absolutely no lines! When we left our room, we were off the ship and met our driver in less than 10 minutes.

I highly recommend the interporting cruise and my husband and I both agreed, we will definitely do it again.

So for those of you who are interporting, I hope this helped you see the great advantages to booking this cruise. And for anyone considering it, BOOK IT! 

It was awesome!

We also recently did this same cruise and largely agree with @Tammy LR.  Overall, it was worth boarding in Rome vs Barcelona for us.  Rome has a lot to do, and starting there allowed us to have extra days before and after.  

There were a few other issues we encountered that people should be aware of.  Beyond the issues with the app, a lot of the ships systems and processes are geared to reset in Barcelona.

1.  We had issues with our photos from the 1st part of our cruise being available to purchase on the 2nd. One of the photos was lost completely despite the crewmembers trying to locate it.  The others were recovered, but it took some effort.

2. We ended up with different waiters in the MDR/MTD as the waiter assignments were reset in Barcelona.  We liked out table location, so we elected to stay with the new waiter team.

In addition, the issues with the app, and cruise planner before the cruise made it impossible to prepurchase the UDP, or make dining reservations for the 2nd half of the cruise.  We weren't going to do UDP anyway so it didn't affect us, but for some this would be a big issue.  I had to call Royal to make my MTD reservations as neither the app, nor cruise planner allowed me to do it.

There were very few ship excursions in Barcelona - I guess the number of "Rome" passengers didn't justify them offering more. 

My 16 year old had to make new friends halfway through the cruise as the vast majority of teens boarded in Barcelona.

 

Again, this was worth it overall.  The above are more observations than complaints.  For us, it was no big deal, but I could see others being really bothered by it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for this post.  We actually just booked Symphony for next summer, but board in Barcelona. After the fact, I realized that you could board in Rome or Barcelona on the same-ish sailing. I understand a bit more about it now thanks to this post. I am cruising with my mom. My mom rushed to  make a deposit before I could think through what I actually wanted to do. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/23/2022 at 4:58 PM, luv2sail said:

Thank you for this post.  We actually just booked Symphony for next summer, but board in Barcelona. After the fact, I realized that you could board in Rome or Barcelona on the same-ish sailing. I understand a bit more about it now thanks to this post. I am cruising with my mom. My mom rushed to  make a deposit before I could think through what I actually wanted to do. 

I'm so glad it helped. You're going to have such a great time. If you really want to go out of Rome, I imagine you could change it pretty easily. Either way, I have no doubt it's going to be a great trip.

One thing I highly recommend, wherever you board, is to get in at least a couple days prior to your cruise. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/23/2022 at 12:07 PM, wordell1 said:

We also recently did this same cruise and largely agree with @Tammy LR.  Overall, it was worth boarding in Rome vs Barcelona for us.  Rome has a lot to do, and starting there allowed us to have extra days before and after.  

There were a few other issues we encountered that people should be aware of.  Beyond the issues with the app, a lot of the ships systems and processes are geared to reset in Barcelona.

1.  We had issues with our photos from the 1st part of our cruise being available to purchase on the 2nd. One of the photos was lost completely despite the crewmembers trying to locate it.  The others were recovered, but it took some effort.

2. We ended up with different waiters in the MDR/MTD as the waiter assignments were reset in Barcelona.  We liked out table location, so we elected to stay with the new waiter team.

In addition, the issues with the app, and cruise planner before the cruise made it impossible to prepurchase the UDP, or make dining reservations for the 2nd half of the cruise.  We weren't going to do UDP anyway so it didn't affect us, but for some this would be a big issue.  I had to call Royal to make my MTD reservations as neither the app, nor cruise planner allowed me to do it.

There were very few ship excursions in Barcelona - I guess the number of "Rome" passengers didn't justify them offering more. 

My 16 year old had to make new friends halfway through the cruise as the vast majority of teens boarded in Barcelona.

 

Again, this was worth it overall.  The above are more observations than complaints.  For us, it was no big deal, but I could see others being really bothered by it.

Those are all great to know. 

We didn't experience any of those issues (except the lack of excursions in Barcelona), so my hope is that they figured it out and are doing a better job with it now...we can hope! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Hi all!

Thank you @Tammy LR and @wordell1 for sharing your experiences about sailing out of interport Rome. 😃

What I am still especially interested in is whether it is possible to book shore excursions in the cruise planner on the website in advance in this interporting cruise?
Are they perhaps only bookable until Barcelona or possibly not at all?

I found out about all these disadvantages only by coincidence after my booking and if I cannot book any shore excursions at all before the trip then that would be a no go and a reason to change my booking to Barcelona after all.

Rome I have already visited several times and had chosen this port because I wanted to see more of Barcelona and had hoped for better shore excursions because the trip then goes on for me. But if shore excursions in Barcelona are basically very limited for all guests and perhaps only last max half day then the whole thing may not be worth it.

It's a  pity that Royal doesn't communicate beforehand that a lot of things won't work the way you're used to on an interport cruise. There is nothing about this on Royal's website and a search for interport does not yield a hit either.

Especially because you can't manage anything on the ship via the app you have to plan everything before the cruise and should therefore be able to book dining times, shore excursions and other reservations via the cruise planner.

 

I would be happy if someone can say something about my question from experience.

Thank you! 🤗

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Mr.Cruiser said:

 

What I am still especially interested in is whether it is possible to book shore excursions in the cruise planner on the website in advance in this interporting cruise?
Are they perhaps only bookable until Barcelona or possibly not at all?
 

We are booked on Symphony June of 23', embarking in Civitavecchia. I did not nor do I see anything on this too being an interporting cruise. However, would explain why I have not been able to see anything on the app, other than reservation number and guest. There are no options on the app or online to book any excursions, (Online says "Amazing experiences coming soon", and app says "We're getting our ship together. Your sailing hasn't reached the app yet. Visit our website to start planning your onboard fun." 

IMG_0754.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your comment, Vincent.

I am also going next summer and get the same messages when I go to the website to see the shore excursions. But this also affects other options, like Dining or Spa & Fitness. It's just too early and these options should not be visible to everyone.

I spoke with Royal today and was told that the shore excursions are not bookable at this time and they are not released until 6-9 months before the trip. So it could be that shore excursions are not visible until January and so I will be watching the website for the next few months.
I was assured that despite interport, I will be able to book the shore excursions before the trip, at best through the website, but otherwise by phone. The employee on the phone looked in his system and said that he could book shore excursions for guests of interport trips of the next few weeks, so that should work.
Therefore, I stick to my booking for now and wait until the shore excursions appear on the website.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Mr.Cruiser said:

Thank you for your comment, Vincent.

I am also going next summer and get the same messages when I go to the website to see the shore excursions. But this also affects other options, like Dining or Spa & Fitness. It's just too early and these options should not be visible to everyone.

I spoke with Royal today and was told that the shore excursions are not bookable at this time and they are not released until 6-9 months before the trip. So it could be that shore excursions are not visible until January and so I will be watching the website for the next few months.
I was assured that despite interport, I will be able to book the shore excursions before the trip, at best through the website, but otherwise by phone. The employee on the phone looked in his system and said that he could book shore excursions for guests of interport trips of the next few weeks, so that should work.
Therefore, I stick to my booking for now and wait until the shore excursions appear on the website.

 

We were able to book excursions for all ports, except Barcelona (and Rome since it was our starting point) on our June 2022 Mediterranean on WOS from Rome.  We had no issues with booking wifi but there were some issues with dinner reservations (We didn't do specialty so it didn't affect us.)

The app issues were a definite annoyance but did not take away from our overall enjoyment of our vacation.  Once I accepted that it wasn't going to be fixed, we just dealt with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@wordell1

Thanks for your feedback.
Were you able to book shore excursions for Barcelona by phone or on the ship? Or was this not possible at all?

I definitely want to visit Barcelona, so I am particularly interested in the shore excursions that day. When I search Royal's website for shore excursions at this port, there should be more than just excursions followed by an airport transfer. I hope this will work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to confirm I’m booked on Symphony from Barcelona next summer and I also don’t have any excursions available to book yet, so it’s not an interport specific issue. 

Barcelona is pretty compact with good transport and close to the cruise port so I wouldn’t worry about a lack of ship excursions and just book a private excursion or DIY. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Mr.Cruiser said:

@wordell1

Thanks for your feedback.
Were you able to book shore excursions for Barcelona by phone or on the ship? Or was this not possible at all?

I definitely want to visit Barcelona, so I am particularly interested in the shore excursions that day. When I search Royal's website for shore excursions at this port, there should be more than just excursions followed by an airport transfer. I hope this will work.

We will sail from Barcelona in 3 weeks and have booked a pre-cruise excursion through Viator.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're doing Wonder out of Rome before the TA cruise, just to get 1 missing C&A point to move up to D+ for the TA 🙂

I cannot access the booking for this short cruise in the app, so had to do the Check-In on the website. Purchasing the soda package on the website worked as well, so booking excursions should also work, but probably only for the first part until Barcelona, as pretty much everything on the ship resets in Barcelona.

We probably won't book any shows on this short leg, as we will have plenty of time to see them on the TA.

It's pretty lame of RCL though, that they can't get the app running no matter where passengers boards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/3/2022 at 10:12 PM, Mr.Cruiser said:

@wordell1

Thanks for your feedback.
Were you able to book shore excursions for Barcelona by phone or on the ship? Or was this not possible at all?

I definitely want to visit Barcelona, so I am particularly interested in the shore excursions that day. When I search Royal's website for shore excursions at this port, there should be more than just excursions followed by an airport transfer. I hope this will work.

We just got off the ship and walked into Barcelona - most of it is easily walkable.  We did get on one of the on/off buses in the afternoon which was just OK (and overpriced).

Viator, which @ChessE4mentioned above is always an option if you want to see excursions.  we used them in Rome for private tours during our pre cruise stay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Brandis said:

How did the Muster Drill procedure work when boarding in Civittaveccia? Since nothing personalized is working in the app, I assume this also is true for registering the muster in the app?

Yeah, you just get the 'extended' in-person version of the 'new' muster drill.  I assume it's similar to what happens if you don't do it on the app.

It didn't take that much longer.  We were directed to a nearby lounge one we boarded, and they went over the usual things, and then we were handed over to another crew member who took us to our 'real' muster station and let us go.

After that we went back to the royal promenade and found someone to help us book our shows. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, wordell1 said:

We just got off the ship and walked into Barcelona - most of it is easily walkable.  We did get on one of the on/off buses in the afternoon which was just OK (and overpriced).

 

We took the port shuttle bus that dropped us off at the cruise terminal that is closest to the Columbus monument, and then just walked around.  The Virgin Voyages ship was docked there that day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/23/2022 at 12:07 PM, wordell1 said:

 

There were a few other issues we encountered that people should be aware of.  Beyond the issues with the app, a lot of the ships systems and processes are geared to reset in Barcelona.

1.  We had issues with our photos from the 1st part of our cruise being available to purchase on the 2nd. One of the photos was lost completely despite the crewmembers trying to locate it.  The others were recovered, but it took some effort.

 

Luckily, I had no issues with photos on our cruise; was able to find all of them both pre and post Barcelona. 

Also had no issues with dining.  We had traditional dining; seemed like our entire section were people that embarked in Rome.  We didn't try doing any specialty dining on this cruise (other than some onion rings at Playmakers). 

My teenage daughter was also bummed about new friends leaving halfway thought the cruise. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...