Written on: 09/10/2004 by Cato (1 review written)
This was our second cruise having previously been on the Sunbird, 4 bed cabins more spacious than the Sunbird and have further 2 robes, You can order as many drinks as you want on the one card for those all inclusive
Passengers on booked excursions get priority off loading in tender ports and as such delays yourself, also sometimes difficult to get a drink on the pool deck with some of the staff not very proactive, also not enough sun beds to accommodate the amount of people on board and like hotel holidays people leave the towels provided and disappear for the day, you do find that initially there is someone in the morning that goes around to remove towels from beds left unattended but at no other times. Final criticism is that there is always a slight vibration.
Overall like most holidays you have a few niggles but even with these would have to say an excellent cruise, stayed our first week at the Bonaire in Cala Bona, week 2 spent on the spirit, cabins more spacious than the Sunbird which was our previous cruise. The all inclusive drinks system is much better in that one card is all that is required to order as many drinks as you want, also ordered cans to take off in ports of call. Entertainment is excellent with an all British cast, 24 hour food available in the Lido although only had breakfast and lunch in there as used the compasse rose for evening meals. When you do use the Lido bear in mind that there are 2 entrances and most people do not immediately realise this and tend to queue on the one side. The week we had on board was Images of the Riviera itinerary. There was a family of 4 and as such did not undertake any Thomson excursions as very expensive but made our own way. First port of call was Civitaveccia for Rome and would only attempt this way if you are able and prepared for a lot of walking. Walk to the train station which is about 15-20 minutes, in the train station there is a little shop, you buy a ticket here for 9 euros which includes the train to Rome Termini and all travel in Rome, once in Rome Termini we got the underground Metro BEWARE PICKPOCKETS and keep personal belongings safe whilst travelling at all times, once at the coliseum paid 10 euros to go inside, beware the men dressed as Romans outside who after having a picture taken 2 ladies told us that 10 euros per lady was demanded and they felt that intimidated handed the money over, also lots of beggars and dubious character hanging around, we then walked from here to the Trevi fountain but not for the faint hearted and would suggest that you get the Metro, again there are some very dubious characters hanging around the Trevi fountain and cannot emphasise enough to keep eye on personal belongings as did see a pick pocket attempt. There is a 10 minute walk from the Trevi to the nearest Metro from here we caught the train to the Vatican which is a further 10-15 minute walk from Metro stop, did not have sufficient time to go in with quite a large queue but spent about an hour outside in the square. Doubled back to the Metro and caught train back to Rome Termini and onto Citiviteccia which takes about an hour.
The second port of call was La Spezia which is a tender port and you have to wait for all those on booked excursions to get off first, from here we had a 20-30 minute walk to train station and caught the train to Pisa, we paid 30 euros for a family of 4, once in Pisa there is a further 30 minute walk to the Tower, beware the lucky lucky men who pester you to death.
The third port of call was Villafranche which is another tender port and we caught the train to Monaco-Montecarlo which is 15 minutes away, however first train failed to arrive and had to wait another hour by which time further ship had docked and train was full to bursting, When you arrive at station you automatically head to the exit upwards which is wrong, you need to exit of the platform down stairs which takes you onto further stairs and eventually down to street level, from Monaco-Montecarlo headed back in direction of Villafranche but stayed on to Nice further 20 minutes along.
The fourth port was Sete which is not picture postcard but more commercial and the final port was Palamos which has a beach and a typical Spanish resort, you can travel to Barcelona from here which is approximately 60 miles away but by this time legs had given way.