Right now is the commence of an really anticipated cruise: a 7-night Greek & Adriatic cruise on Rhapsody of the Seas! About the upcoming week, I am going to be visiting the ports of Mykonos, Chania, and Zakynthos (Greece), Kotor (Montenegro) and Split (Croatia).
I have wanted to visit Greece and the Adriatic for many years, so I designed certain to decide the most port-intensive itinerary I could come across. When Rhapsody of the Seas could be one particular of Royal Caribbean’s oldest and smallest ships, she is ready to in shape into a lot of ports inaccessible by larger sized cruise ships.
I have in no way been on a Eyesight Course ship right before (the smallest I’ve sailed on has been the Voyager Class), so I’m intrigued to see how a great deal the cruise experience can differ on the smallest ships.
My sister Lauren and brother Dominic are traveling with me on this cruise! Lauren came with me on my initial at any time Royal Caribbean cruise, and this is Dominic’s first cruise. It is really been 3 many years due to the fact our past “sibling journey” to Italy, so we are happy to be back again in Europe together this calendar year!
I just concluded a 7-night cruise on Anthem of the Seas last 7 days (verify out the are living weblog in this article). Following two days in London entire of touring the town and geeking out at the Harry Potter motion picture set, it was time to fly to Athens for my upcoming cruise!
Arrival in Athens
We arrived to Athens on a flight from London yesterday afternoon. Upon arrival, we wanted to get a Covid take a look at at the Athens airport. Greece implemented rigorous screening protocols for cruises telehealth checks are not accepted and your take a look at must be taken just 1 day ahead of time. These protocols are substantially stricter than any other individuals I have encountered so considerably, and flying to Greece not realizing if I would make it on the cruise or not was incredibly stress filled!
The Athens airport conveniently has a Covid testing internet site with final results ready in 20 minutes. Each and every quick antigen examination costs €20. The good news is all exams were being unfavorable!
We stayed at an Airbnb in the Plaka community of Athens, which had lots of remarkable views of the Acropolis and close by mountains. The neighborhood was touristy, but it was pleasant and walkable with a great deal of retailers and restaurants suitable exterior the door.
Embarkation in Athens
We took a taxi from our Airbnb to the port, which took about 20 minutes with targeted visitors. I mistakenly set directions to the “Port of Piraeus” and not the cruise terminal directly, so I had to get a second taxi to Cruise Terminal B. I utilized Uber to order the taxis, which looks to be the way Uber operates in Athens.
On arrival at the terminal, we dropped off our luggage and went through the short protection screening. When coming into the waiting around region, we have been provided a colored slip that would indicate when we could get on the ship. Arrival occasions were not being checked, and we waited all around 15 minutes prior to our color was preferred.
This was adopted by another space the place our vaccine certificates and passports ended up checked all over again. It was the most thorough document look at I have skilled nevertheless, with the Greek authorities diligently checking our vaccination documents and dates.
Right after an supplemental 10 minutes or so, it was at last time to get onboard!
Very first impressions of Rhapsody of the Seas
By now I have a fairly fantastic understanding of the structure of most Royal Caribbean ships, but simply because the Vision Course does not stick to the more recent Royal Caribbean design and style, I was a bit lost after onboard and experienced to maintain checking the deck maps!
Our to start with halt was the Windjammer for a traditional Royal Caribbean embarkation working day buffet lunch. I was a bit shocked to not see any hand sanitizing enforcement (there are no hand washing stations on Rhapsody, just hand sanitizer).
We prepare to consume at complimentary venues every single day on this cruise and help save our revenue for a great lunch every single day in port as an alternative!
Staterooms were being all set at 1:30PM. I am remaining in an inside cabin on this cruise, and we experienced the mattress separated into two twin beds which elevated the residing space and produced the room feel far more open up. For the reason that Rhapsody of the Seas is an more mature ship, I was nervous the stateroom would sense extremely outdated and outdated.
Although the cabin might not sense as new as a ship like Harmony or Odyssey of the Seas, I was pleasantly surprised with the total of storage and room in the home. The cabin really seems a bit much more updated than staterooms I’ve had on some Voyager and Independence Class ships.
I explored the ship for the relaxation of the afternoon. Vision Course ships do not have a Royal Promenade. Instead the ship has the Centrum as a principal meeting place on the ship, a multi-story foyer which is house to venues like a cafe, the art gallery, Upcoming Cruise, Visitor Solutions, and far more. I listened to a live violinist for a little bit, which is absolutely a thing I’ve by no means seen on Royal Caribbean right before!
The Solarium is attractive and embellished with hieroglyphics. Historical Egyptian layout is integrated throughout the pool and spa locations on Rhapsody of the Seas. I also checked out the Vitality Spa & Fitness Heart. The spa on Rhapsody seems huge looking at the ship’s dimension! It had the most attractive leisure area I’ve observed on any ship but.
Although in the health middle, I unexpectedly achieved the Captain of Rhapsody of the Seas. I guess these points are certain to happen on a smaller ship!
We enjoyed evening meal tonight in the Main Dining Area, otherwise regarded as the Edelweiss Eating Home on Rhapsody of the Seas.
I like the glimpse of Rhapsody’s dining place, a two-tale space with a lighted artwork piece and piano in the center. We have a pleasant desk area with views of the complete dining place and home windows.
I begun my meal with the French onion soup, which is quickly turning into my favourite factor to take in onboard. It truly is delicious! For my main study course I requested the polenta and for dessert the warm chocolate hazelnut cake. Everything was ready nicely and it was the ideal way to start out our weeklong cruise.
Since we had missed sailaway, we took a publish meal stroll together the Promenade deck to take in the sights of Greece’s stunning shoreline. I failed to know how mountainous the coastline would be and it was magnificent! The weather conditions was also best, specifically looking at final week’s chilly sea days on Anthem of the Seas.
There was live songs and a headliner show scheduled for tonight, but my siblings and I made the decision to cling out on the pool deck rather for a single of the most wonderful sunsets I have witnessed at sea.
Tomorrow we are in our 1st port of simply call: Mykonos, Greece! Be certain to observe alongside on this week’s dwell web site for Mediterranean cruise inspiration and recommendations.