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Help to decide what is going to be our next cruise at August


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Hi all , need some help to decide what will be our next cruise and thought why not to use the  wisdom of this wonderful forum:

So here is the story , my spouse and I should take a vacation at the last week of August, we cannot avoid as it is some kind of company policy. Usually, the last week of August travels are very expensive but this year it seems flights  became very cheap so we have some options.

Now we are really trying to figure out what will be the best for us , there were some option for land vacation (Amsterdam and Paris , London or Even Romania) but we found that we can take also another cruise.We have three options:

1.       Indi for 3 days from Southampton

2.       Navigator 7 days to northern Europe from Southampton.

3.       Rhapsody 7 days to Greek islands from Venice

 

All the cruises cost more and less the same (the 3 days on Indi cost just jumped) , all the flights also cost more and less the same so we heaving a very hard time to decide which one to take.Until now we only been on Oasis class (all of them), Freedom (Indi and Library) and Voyager , never something smaller (if you do not count the tendering boats).

Oh , one more small information , 3 weeks from this cruise we already have the Symphony booked ?.

Here are the pros/cons   (I took out Indi from the list as it does not make sense from financial perspective) :

Navigator Pros  :

Bigger ship

has Sabor on it

My Spouse never been to London before and we will have 3 days to explore it prior to the cruise.

Should be better weather on the North Sea. (but you never know)

It will be our first time in Oslo and Hamburg.

Direct flight.

Navigator Cons:

Long transfer from London to Southampton and even longer when we will need to go from the ship to the airport (Luton). (and not sure if I want to rent a car as they are driving on wrong  side ? )

Flight time longer.

Flight is with low cost airline which mean we can travel with small suitcase or to pay extra.

Hotels in London are expensive.

We will need to take one extra vacation day.

Rhapsody Pros :

More cruise ports (6) none of them we visit before (and only Vision class can visit).

More special restaurants comparing to Navigator.

Flight time shorter (the main flight)

Flight is with regular airline which includes two free suitcases.

My spouse never been to Venice.

Shorter transfer to the airport and port.

Mainland hotels near Venice are cheap (and some are very near by the train station).

 

Rhapsody Cons:

Small ship, does not have many attraction (not even promenade) – not sure if we will like it or not.

No direct flight (well the cheap flight we found anyway).

Weather can be very hot at ports.

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Hi all , need some help to decide what will be our next cruise and thought why not to use the  wisdom of this wonderful forum:

So here is the story , my spouse and I should take a vacation at the last week of August, we cannot avoid as it is some kind of company policy. Usually, the last week of August travels are very expensive but this year it seems flights  became very cheap so we have some options.

Now we are really trying to figure out what will be the best for us , there were some option for land vacation (Amsterdam and Paris , London or Even Romania) but we found that we can take also another cruise.We have three options:

1.       Indi for 3 days from Southampton

2.       Navigator 7 days to northern Europe from Southampton.

3.       Rhapsody 7 days to Greek islands from Venice

 

All the cruises cost more and less the same (the 3 days on Indi cost just jumped) , all the flights also cost more and less the same so we heaving a very hard time to decide which one to take.Until now we only been on Oasis class (all of them), Freedom (Indi and Library) and Voyager , never something smaller (if you do not count the tendering boats).

Oh , one more small information , 3 weeks from this cruise we already have the Symphony booked ?.

Here are the pros/cons   (I took out Indi from the list as it does not make sense from financial perspective) :

Navigator Pros  :

Bigger ship

has Sabor on it

My Spouse never been to London before and we will have 3 days to explore it prior to the cruise. 

Should be better weather on the North Sea. (but you never know)....I look out over the North Sea and trust me it can be Cold, Wet and blowing at 80mph+ any time of the year!!

It will be our first time in Oslo and Hamburg.

Direct flight.

Navigator Cons:

Long transfer from London to Southampton and even longer when we will need to go from the ship to the airport (Luton). (and not sure if I want to rent a car as they are driving on wrong  side ? )

Flight time longer.

Flight is with low cost airline which mean we can travel with small suitcase or to pay extra.

Hotels in London are expensive. you can get great deals on Sites such as last minute.com, Groupon or secret escapes 

We will need to take one extra vacation day.

Rhapsody Pros :

More cruise ports (6) none of them we visit before (and only Vision class can visit).

More special restaurants comparing to Navigator.

Flight time shorter (the main flight)

Flight is with regular airline which includes two free suitcases.

My spouse never been to Venice.

Shorter transfer to the airport and port.

Mainland hotels near Venice are cheap (and some are very near by the train station).

Sailing the Med in August you are more likely to get better weather than the other options 

 

Rhapsody Cons:

Small ship, does not have many attraction (not even promenade) – not sure if we will like it or not. If its all new ports to you then time on ship will be limited, so not a big deal

No direct flight (well the cheap flight we found anyway).

Weather can be very hot at ports. For me hotter the better ? but thats only because where i stay it very rarely gets above 20c 

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

for me i would do the med trip, simply down to the fact its somewhere i havent been and its hotter.  

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9 minutes ago, Ray said:

for me i would do the med trip, simply down to the fact its somewhere i havent been and its hotter.  

Thanks for the info , 

Regarding the weather , well its hot and humid in the summer (Although today we are enjoying 25C) so sometime we are looking for colder weather during August. Well I must be frank here if it was Navigator or Indi  doing the Med cruise we would not hesitate   

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Is the ship the destination or are the ports the destination?  Which is more important?

I get the feeling the ship is holding you back from choosing the Greek cruise.  As you have noted the smaller ship is required to get into some of those ports. 

Last year I sailed on Allure in May then my next ship was Grandeur.  Mega to small.  I loved Grandeur.  It's a wonderful ship.  It's only considered a small ship by Royal Caribbean standards.  By the measure used by all other cruises lines, having ~2,000 guests is not a small ship. 

The Greek Islands are on my bucket list and I'd have no hesitation sailing Vision class ships so I know what I'd do, but this is your vacation.  Follow your gut. 

 

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56 minutes ago, twangster said:

Is the ship the destination or are the ports the destination?  Which is more important?

I get the feeling the ship is holding you back from choosing the Greek cruise.  As you have noted the smaller ship is required to get into some of those ports. 

Last year I sailed on Allure in May then my next ship was Grandeur.  Mega to small.  I loved Grandeur.  It's a wonderful ship.  It's only considered a small ship by Royal Caribbean standards.  By the measure used by all other cruises lines, having ~2,000 guests is not a small ship. 

The Greek Islands are on my bucket list and I'd have no hesitation sailing Vision class ships so I know what I'd do, but this is your vacation.  Follow your gut. 

 

Well the ship and the weather , 

Its hard to know if we will like the smaller ship or not , but it is 7 nights cruise , maybe its better to try in a shorter cruise , on the other hand the fact we are doing the Symphony few weeks after can compensate if we will have issue with the ship (which I do no think we will have).

There is one think about big ships we both like and its about ability to walk allot and have enough places  to walk to.  The Greek Islands should be nice ports to visit  I agree although we can visit it quite easily.

Currently I am tending to the Greek option , we will need to choose soon as flights becoming more expensive every day (or its only because I forgot to clean the cookies) 

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personally i would choose the greek islands cruise. With a very port intensive itinerary i doubt you'll spend very much time on the ship, and a smaller ship should be fine for the time you do.

In January of this year my family did a southern Caribbean that was 7 days and had 6 port days. We were "nervous" about being on a small, older ship (Jewel), but when it came down to it, we were really only on the ship in the evenings and to sleep. We spent all of our days off the ship, exploring the islands. We ended up loving Jewel. For the time we did spend on the ship there was more than enough to do, plenty of places to walk to, and we never felt like we were missing things to do... half the time we were so tired from our long days in port we ate, watched a show and then went to bed to be well rested for our next port! That being said, if it had been an itinerary with less ports and more sea days i think we may have run out of things to do towards the end of the week if we wanted variety. 

I know everyone talks up the new mega ships, but I quite enjoy the smaller ships, especially on an itinerary like this! If we could make it work with everyone's schedules we'd jump on this itinerary in a second! (we're looking at doing it next summer!)

To me, wanting a "fancier" ship on a port intensive itinerary is the equivalent of booking a luxury hotel with bells and whistles only to solely sleep there.

Like @twangster said, are you choosing these itineraries to see the ports that it stops in? or are you wanting to spend the week with the ship as your destination? 

If you're choosing the itinerary to see the ports, I don't think you need to worry about the ship. 

I would pick the Greek Isle's cruise ?

 

 

 

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Being a resident of Southampton, and a great fan of Indy and Navigator, I should not be recommending the Italy/Greek cruise. But we have just returned from a cruise on Vision that sailed around Italy and spent 2 days in Venice. It was fantastic. Vision is the same class as Rhapsody, and we have sailed on the latter in the past as well; the ships are perfectly suitable, particularly with a port intensive itinerary. So, although we have a slight leaning to Freedom/Voyager class, it is not a strong enough preference to forego the Med.

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We did the Greek isles out of Barcelona on Brilliance in Sept of 2016 and can`t wait to go back.  Loved all of the stops . Especially The Greek ports.    Our favorite is Santorini, Greece.  Should you stop there and like wine by all means do the Santorini wine adventure thru Amazing Santorini.com.  And if you stop in Rome do the excursion thru the ship that goes to the Vatican.  It is very pricey but worth every cent paid.    Our cruise price and air fare were really great so we did this cruise and were so glad we did.   We just did Rhapsody in Feb.  and would do that ship  again in a heart beat.   Everything  about that ship was great.      

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Kotor was a real surprise to us. We knew nothing about the place but sailing in through a beautiful fjord, with mountains on each side, was a marvellous experience. Kotor itself has a walled city architecture which is well worth exploring. We knew what to expect with Athens and it is a classic destination, Mykonos was charming and very scenic. I think the itinerary has a lot going for it.

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We are sailing for the 2nd time on vision next summer for a 12 day greek/med cruise.   We sailed on vision for our first cruise and the smaller ship has a lot of pros.  I loved the fewer crowds,  the ability to get into smaller ports, and the amazing service.   No, we didn't have the big bells and whistles (most of which I don't use anyway)   and I might miss the promenade next time,  but it was an amazing cruise.  Give the smaller a try... esp. For the new ports and the better weather.   I can't wait to go to santorini, mykenos and Athens!   Jane

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Opps , 

Just saw I reacted on another thread , anyway , after all the wonderful advises here we decided to go with the Greek Islands option. We already booked the cruise and tickets.   we will fly two days before the cruise so we will have at least a full day to tour Venice.

Panning to book hotel in the mainland outside of Venice 15 minutes from the airport (we will land quite late)15-20 minutes by train from the city  and 30 minutes from the cruise terminal , some of the hotels are offering shuttle to the cruise port , still need to check that.  Hotels inside the city are very expensive and more important its not that easy to travel inside the city with luggage.

Trying to add the new cruise to my account seem to be the most problematic part now , amazing (or maybe the fact I am still amazed that something is not working with RC site is the amazing part) 

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34 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Trying to add the new cruise to my account seem to be the most problematic part now , amazing (or maybe the fact I am still amazed that something is not working with RC site is the amazing part) 

I usually give it 24 hours.  Sometimes I can add them right away but many times I just do it the day after.

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3 minutes ago, twangster said:

I usually give it 24 hours.  Sometimes I can add them right away but many times I just do it the day after.

Yes,  until now I could have done it in a matter of minutes but with new site you never know.

Anyway the site is down now for maintenance so I will wait few hours until it will come back.

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6 hours ago, mom2mybugs said:

We are sailing for the 2nd time on vision next summer for a 12 day greek/med cruise.   We sailed on vision for our first cruise and the smaller ship has a lot of pros.  I loved the fewer crowds,  the ability to get into smaller ports, and the amazing service.   No, we didn't have the big bells and whistles (most of which I don't use anyway)   and I might miss the promenade next time,  but it was an amazing cruise.  Give the smaller a try... esp. For the new ports and the better weather.   I can't wait to go to santorini, mykenos and Athens!   Jane

Love Mykonos and Athens. Must try gyros over there and lemon potatoes.

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5 hours ago, Traveler said:

Thanks, 

Do you remember if Mkyenos port is near anything  ?  meaning can I walk from the ship to the city ?

We were tendered to shore at Mykonos so we landed in the heart of the town. It is typical Greek cobbled streets and alleyways with plentiful small bars and shops. We walked through the town to some ancient windmills that are very picturesque. There are also some classical Greek churches with coloured domes that make for charming views. A lovely place that retains the character of Greek style.

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On 6/3/2018 at 8:14 AM, twangster said:

I usually give it 24 hours.  Sometimes I can add them right away but many times I just do it the day after.

So here is interesting alarming story .

After almost 48 pass and I still could not retrieve the new reservation and when I went directly to the cruise planner I got a message that I could not order anything as payment is missing I called RC. First the CSR tried to convince me that I need to wait 15 minutes until I will see the reservation I explained here that I already done it for a day or two , she asked me to try IE instead Chrome , I tried just to get the same results (bit surprise).Next she asked me for my user name and password , wow , that was the first time ever that any CSR asked me such information. I gave her the password (and that is exactly why my password is different for each site , and yes I changed the password later).She tried and admit its not working . I guide her to try the cruise planner to see the error message I am getting , she got the same.At this point she told me she will talk to her supervisor so he can open and IT ticket for this issue , I told her that I will wait but I do not think it is IT issue, more like reservation that stuck on something. After around 10 minutes she came back to tell me she still waiting for the supervisor , 5 minutes after she asked me to check it again and what do you know it was working perfectly, apparently for some reason the reservation was still stuck on "offer" status so it never fully processed , once she change it all issues were fix.

Still alarmed from the fact they wanted my password but I am happy the issue revolved just sorry my password was not something like "RCSiteisBS"

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@Traveler, that CSR asking for your password is inexcusable on multiple levels. First, as you noted, that's a gateway to social engineering and hacking into any other account you hold anywhere else. Second, for thing like that the CSRs should have a read-only "Impersonate Client View" kind of tool on their side, where they log in as themselves and then activate an impersonation function that takes your ID and shows your reservations or other details for review. It's a standard in every financial site I've ever worked on, and I'm stunned Royal's IT department hasn't.... Oh, yeah... Royal IT. ??

In all seriousness, this should be reported to a supervisor. Don't frame it in a way to get the CSR in trouble, but ask them in very serious tones why they don't have that kind of tool and what the hell they are thinking having reps asking for full login credentials in this age of cyber theft.

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4 minutes ago, JLMoran said:

@Traveler, that CSR asking for your password is inexcusable on multiple levels. First, as you noted, that's a gateway to social engineering and hacking into any other account you hold anywhere else. Second, for thing like that the CSRs should have a read-only "Impersonate Client View" kind of tool on their side, where they log in as themselves and then activate an impersonation function that takes your ID and shows your reservations or other details for review. It's a standard in every financial site I've ever worked on, and I'm stunned Royal's IT department hasn't.... Oh, yeah... Royal IT. ??

In all seriousness, this should be reported to a supervisor. Don't frame it in a way to get the CSR in trouble, but ask them in very serious tones why they don't have that kind of tool and what the hell they are thinking having reps asking for full login credentials in this age of cyber theft.

I agree with you, they should have a better solution , read only as you described or in the worse case scenario some shared screen option. Any site that has PII information can not work without such method , getting my password is not one of them surely if they are SOX complaint (and they should be if they operate from the US or give service to US).

I wonder if its a common practice or it was an initiative of the CSR.   

 

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