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Rhapsody of the seas Greek Islands 25 Aug - 1-Sep , semi live blog


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Wow no updates in live blog almost three days , its almost a blasphemy , lets see if we can fix it.

Time past fast especially when you read royal Caribbean Blogs ? and another cruise is just days away. Where my spouse and me  work we are forced to take a week off at the end of August so we had to find how to spend the time.

Lucky for us, not like last years the flights prices were very low for this week so we had several options :

Land vacation at London, Land vacation in Amsterdam and Paris (better firs Paris than Amsterdam, heard some people forget to go to Paris after Amsterdam for some reasons) , Land vacation in Italy or find a cruise. You will not be surprised  what I was leaning into…  quick check in RC site showed we had three options,  short cruise with Indi , 7 night cruise to the north sea with Navigator and 7 night cruise Rhapsody to the Greek Islands (north America cruise were not an option this time due to the short period , flying to north America require at least tow more days) . It was not easy task to decide which one to choose as we thought that Indi which is just after its upgrade can be very nice option but the cruise was just too short. Navigator on the other hand was also appealing to me as we cruise  Voyger of the seas in the pasts so we knew what we can expect and most important it has Sabor !  but the itinerary was not that appealing. So we left with Rhapsody and its very heavy port itinerary.

We had some doubts as the smallest ship we ever cruised before  was Voyager class , which you can say many things about this class but small it is not one of them. But reading some comments and reviews (thank you @Matt) and the fact we never been to any of the ports this ship will bring us to got us to decide and book it (aka YOLO).

Its not that I am using everything that there is on the big ships , I just like to know I have the option ? but it is ok , three weeks after we will return from this cruise we have another cruise booked on the humble Symphony.

The ship will leave from Venice, so we decide to fly in two day before and have at least one full day to tour Venice (yes I know its not enough , but better than nothing and not require us to take extra vacations days).

Weone of the four points hotels  outside Venice as the hotels inside Venice are very expensive even if I will book them using points. The hotel locate near a train and a bus station that will take us to Venice in about 20 minutes , so it should work fine.


The itinerary:

Day -1 – Visit Venice , depend on the weather we will choose some Museum or just go to the very nice places Venice can offer , we need to decide what to do with food as Venice known for its tourist traps (more like pitfalls) you can seat in the wrong restaurant eat something small and get a 200 $ bill easily/   

Day 1 – Venice  - we will catch a taxi from the hotel to the cruise port and enjoy exploring a new type of ship.

Day 2 – Kotor – we will arrive Kotor around 1 PM  , we took a tour from RC (it is tendering port) the tour will take us all the way to the mountains for some nice view over the fiord.

Day3 – Corfu – we have a RC tour here that will take us to some villages and later on to the old city.

Day4 – Athens – I thought to take the buss and the subway from the port to the city, it should have been quite easy to do but then I remember it is Grease , Grease have strikes  every second day (really, they are site that shows you what are the next strikes) so you never now if you can relay on public transportation or even on Taxis (yes they strike too from time to time). So to be on the safe side I booked a transfer to the Acropolis area were you can take many tours or just roam around.

Day5 – MYKONOS – No plans yet, its another tendering port so we will just go to the port and roam around the city find some good taberna to it good Greek food.

Day6 – ARGOSTOLI – go to town , do some shopping and enjoy the ship , we are planning Chef table (for my Birthday) during the evening    

Day 7 – Sea day , well mainly rest and recover from the wine paring the day before, and cry that this is the last day.

Day 8 – back to Venice , as we have late fight we considering or to stay on the ship extra hours (in Europe cruises RC given the option to pay extra 40 $ and stay on the ship until 2 PM) or to rent a car and do some food shopping , we did not decided yet.


This week did not start that well  , as I was stopping at a traffic light and 5 second after another car stopped , but the driver decided to use my car to stop instead his breaks and he came quite fast as his car front was damaged quite hard (his radiator was broken). I remember I turn off the engine , went out and was pissed off for 1 second , not because my car is only 3 weeks on the road with less than 500 miles , not because I knew I will lose time but because I thought , oh , I might miss the cruise because of it ?. Lucky for me I was not harmed ,did some X-ray to be on the safe side and the Doctor said everything is fine so I am clear to cruise. Now time for packing (I hate) tomorrow it starts




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Day  -2 

Nothing much to write about , morning started by rushing to pack and finish some task at work before heading to the airport. No matter how many times I pack its still something which I wish I could avoid . You think after taking many flight by now I would do things almost automatically but every time is like the first time. Packing for cruise also adding ironing task (which I hate) since no iron on the ship and somehow my shirts (even the t shirts) looks as if someone run over them several times. So after trying to do several task in parallel (Iron , cooking and participate in some conference calls) we rushed to catch the train to the airport.

Flight was Ok , short flight to Rome and a very short flight to Venice , so we already arrived to the hotel which is in a middle of something which looks like industrial park. we got an upgrade to a suite (there are some benefits from all the endless bushiness trips)  so the room is very nice (1 bad room and separate living room). Tomorrow we are planning to take the train to Venice and tour it for a while.

Getting help packiing :



Even at the work Cafeteria It was too long from our last cruise 


You leave them alone for few hours and that is what you get


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Day - 1 Venice , 

What I can say , one day in Venice is not enough ,specially if you want to avoid all the crowds. We started the day around 8 am , with a nice breakfast at the hotel. The breakfast was served as a buffet and contained lots of things to choose from. We went to the nearest supermarket to buy some wine for the ship and water. The supermarket is located near the train station and inside a huge mall with a small food court. We went back to the hotel to leave the wine and water at the room before heading down to catch the bus to Venice (the buss station is just outside the hotel and takes around 15 - 20 minutes until it bring you to Venice).

Now , this one is for @Lovetocruise2002  ?  , a typical tourist will make all the effort to maximize his time in Venice , so much to see show much to do , but not a Canadian tourist , he first need to take his time and show how he loves and adores Canada, so he use this huge pin board at the hotel , invest about an hour so everyone will know it :



So we arrived to Venice main bus station (tickets are 3.5 $ both way) and bought a day pass to the water bus  , the best way to sea around Venice is the water cancel and the ticket allows you to hop in hope out for a full 25 hours at the price of 25 $.

Here are some pictures from the water bus.


The famous bridge : 


We went out at ST Marco Square and walked around the street without any special direction


How can we be in Venice without some Gondolas pictures :


Later on we went to one of the squares to meet the tour we booked via the internet , its one of this free walking tour which you Tip as you wish at the end of the tour . the tour guide was very informative and shared allot of stories about the city and its people, the tour itself took place at the north part of Venice and was in a less touristic route which I liked.During the tour we went into this lovely church , not one of the famous of the cities but very butterball and impressive.


At the end of the tour it was starting to rain and we had to catch the last bus back to the hotel , the tour guide told us its around 7 minutes to walk to the bus station and we had 20 minutes to do it so we were happy , gave her money (if it is a good tour I try to pay as I would pay to a regular tour) and went to the bus , after 25 minutes we saw we have 10 minute more to walk , well I guess it was 7  Italian minutes ? .

We missed the bus so we had a good excuse to try the train which came on time , cost around 1.5 $ and brought us back to the mall area in 15 minutes. We took something to eat at the food court and came back to the hotel  very tired but happy.


Tomorrow embarkation day ! 

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9 minutes ago, Lovetocruise2002 said:

@Traveler you're Canadian too??!

and I really need to get back to Venice one of these days! Love the pics! Brings back memories....

No , although I spent many days in Montreal (love this city) I am not a Canadian (your really know Canadian with so many spelling and grammar errors ?)  , it was not me to create the flag , if I would try to create my flag it would be more complicate ? 

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21 minutes ago, Matt said:

Hope it was enough to get a "taste" of the city.  Looks amazing

The only reason we felt one day is enough because both my spouse and me wants to be on the ship already ? 

But yes for tasting one day is enough , maybe we will come again for more days now when we know were its good to stay and how to go around here. 

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It's 5 am at the morning and I can not sleep anymore , I can blame the sound of the rain and thunders , I can blame the one hour jet leg and I can blame many other things but we all know it's embarkation day.

I scheduled the shuttle bus from the hotel (around 15 $ per person) to 9.30 am , it should bring us around 10 to the port. I sure hope the rain will stop as Venice port is one of nicer ports to sail from (the port locate very very close to the city).

For this cruise we will have an ocean view stateroom. No drinking package as it's a very intensive port cruise so we will use the two bottles of wine we just bought at the supermarket some free drinks from the Casino, port drinks  and pay as you go drinks. For dining it will be mainly WJ and the MDR with one reservation for the Chefs table. This is also going to be first time I will try to periscope , will publish the address if it will work. 

Well I will try to catch some more sleep (we all know how it will end) 



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The hotel we Stayed was the four point Mestre ,it as a very near by bus station to Venice and its about 10 minutes walk to a big mall , supermarket and train station. The hotel  is quite new and has a modern look to it. We are glad we choose this hotel as the pre cruise hotel and not one of the hotel inside Venice as they are very expensive , hard to get to and many of them are quite old.


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The day started with some issues , we booked a shuttle to 9:30 to go to the port. At 9:30 we found no shuttle , around 9:45 I asked the front desk were is the shuttle, the call the driver which apparently is a new one , he decided to leave as at 9:20 with one passenger .

The front desk organized that we will be able to take the shuttle at 10 am ., For the inconvenience they gave us back the shuttle fee so it was a free ride , very nice of them 

We arrived to the port at 10:25  , boarded 10:45 

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Just now, Lovetocruise2002 said:

Where do you even randomly find these shots from?  @Matt, I think @twangster is the true Canadian here as I cannot just produce a picture of a bear, baby seal, moose, beaver, etc. to use a live scope example ?

That's a bear wearing an RCMP uniform, shocked at a mid-day twangster sighting.

Of course Sabrina if you didn't refuse to cruise to Alaska you too could take pictures of bears...

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Day 1 – Venice

After waking up too early as it always happens on embarkation day we finish packing and I did not found my driver license which was quite stressing as one of my plans to the post cruise was to rent a car (which might be challenging without the driver license). After some nerve breaking minutes and almost giving up I found it stuck in the master electricity switch (the one you need to push a card so the lights will be enabled) , I guess I pushed it in when we just arrived instead of the room keys. We went down to eat at the hotel buffet (as practicing ourselves for the WJ) and went to complete the checkout. As I wrote before , we had a problem with the shuttle (it was just not there) but the hotel gave us a free ride to the port due as compensation and that’s why I booked the 9:30 shuttle and not the 10:30 , it proved itself. The port is not something special it contains several old terminals, there were 3 or 4 other ships beside the Rhapsody. Inside the terminal there are 3 lines , suites and pinnacles, Platinum up to diamond plus and all the rest. There were no lines when we arrived, and we got boarding ticket number 2, interesting no health form were required to be filed (which was good as my spouse is recovering from cold and we do not like to lie on the forms).


 Not like in many other ports the security is after you are being called to board. We set for about 10 minutes when they call our number  at 10:45. Boarding was very quick and again no lines. Once again the main important  @matt tip (well after using a TA) proved itself , always come early to start the cruise as soon as possible. We were boarding at the centrum and went directly to the internet “office” to get our WIFI code which we did not got while checking in.


We conduct a quick tour at the ship and went to the solarium to rest until the WJ will open. The WJ opened around 11:15 , it was the usual first day food but no decorations or welcome cake, word of warning for the addicted people , no honey sting chicken.


 After lunch we went to the SPA tour to add ourselves to the raffle and to pass the time until the rooms will be opened. The rooms opened at 1:15 , on the way to the rooms we located our luggage which was nice. Quick unpacking , for two people there is enough space to store everything, the only thing I was missing were the open shelfs inside the cabinet. We successfully pushed one of the suitcases under the bad but the second one was just too big (although in other ships we could pushed it also) but there was enough space in the main cabinet to store it. Many hidden places to store stuff and the room is well organized.


We also got a bottle of sparkling wine and some fruits to our room which was nice surprise 


As we were tired we decided to take a power nap before the muster drill, another benefits of being on a small ship, no many attractions you feel you should run and do on the first day to beat the crowds , so you can sleep ? The muster drill was one of the worse I was ever participate , they really packed us very tied, it was not that comfortable, I like at least to get to know someone before, have a coffee, go out to dinner or something before being so intimate with them …

After the muster ended we went to try our luck in the SPA raffle , strange , but we did not won. The ship started to move so we went to deck 10 for the sale away, the ship is going around Venice and the sites are amazing. There were many people on the deck so I had to clime one of the chairs to periscope and take pictures. Few minutes after it started to rain so I went to the WJ and took some pictures out of the windows.


Quickly it was the time to go to the main MDR were we seated at a table with 8 other people from different countries, one of them won the SPA raffle, it was very interesting chatting and time passed very quickly , food was very good, better than I remembered. As we were the only veteran cruisers ,I handed many tips (love to do it) like the fact you can choose to change your dish or even ask for several of them (people use it when we got the dessert). Post dinner we went to one of the game shows at the Centrum it was “finish that lyric”, fun to watch and try to see how many songs we know.

Later we visit the Casino, sorry  @JLMoran no crap tables but they enter some new machines ,very tied machines. I play some 3 card poker and for sure , once I lower my bet I got a strait flush, the dealer was more annoyed than me for the fact that one hand before I had more money, but I was happy for winning. As always for the first day we were very tired so went to sleep , after all we still have 6 more full days ahead of us.























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