Back from Rome & Rivieras, any ?s

Jul 14th, 2001, 11:55 AM
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Back from Rome & Rivieras, any ?s

We are just back from Orient Line's Rome & Rivieras cruise. Had a great time. Stayed at Via Cicerone in Rome and Gran Hotel-Havana in Barcelona. I'll be glad to answer any posted questions.

Jul 15th, 2001, 12:43 AM
Paul Therault
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Hi Pat,

Would you please review the ship. I know Orient has refurbished it after NCL destroyed it.

They did spend quite a bit of money and I was curious to see if it was brought back to it's old glory as when it sailed with Royal Cruise Lines.


Jul 18th, 2001, 04:53 AM
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We are taking the same cruise 9/10/01 for our honeymoon any advice on which excursions to take and what to do in cannes also how was the food on board and the general feel of the ship Thanks
Jul 20th, 2001, 04:43 AM
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Jul 21st, 2001, 09:05 AM
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Sorry to be so long in answering. I came home w/ a bad case of stomach flu and have been under-the-weather for a week!

To answer your question about Cannes excursion: Due to bad weather, our stop in Cannes was cancelled and we stopped in Marseille instead. (We had a great excursion to Aux En Provence.)

Our impression of the ship was fair. Please note, however, that our only other cruise experience was with HAL (Westerdam). We thought that the Crown Odyssey experience was pleasant but did not equal the luxury and service provided by HAL. We spoke w/ many passengers and got mixed reactions to the ship, crew, and food. It seemed that those who had previous cruise experience w/ Carnival and the like, loved the Crown Odyssey. Those that had previous cruise experience w/ the higher-end cruise lines were less enthused.

The food on CO was very much to our liking. I should note that we did not go to the main dining room for dinners. We enjoyed the variety and the flexibility of the buffet and ate our dinners there. The other passengers' reaction to the food was mixed. Some loved it, some did not. For the most part, the complaints seemed to be about the fair in the main dining room. Some complained of poor service, some felt there was a lack of variety. A few did not like the preparation. Although the menu offered at least three choices of entree, some still did not like the choices. The buffet offered many of the same choices as the main dining room, and then some. An example of one night's fare at the buffet included: prime rib, BBQ chicken and ribs, Chicken Provencal, grilled shrimp kebabs, and a pasta dish. This, in addition to a generous selection of salads, pates, terrines, breads, grilled or steamed veggies, and desserts. Often, hamburgers, hot dogs, or pizza would be also be served. We thought the preparation was good w/ a few items being too salty.

Our only real criticism was the air-balance problem on the ship. Our cabin was hot and caused some sleep problems. Others complained of their cabins being too hot or too cold. Overall the ship's public areas seemed too hot during the day. I think that the air-conditioning systems could not keep up w/ the solar-heat intake during the day.

Another problem was w/ the ship's announcement system. Many cabins could not hear the captain's announcements. This was a problem for disembarking at ports-of-call. It was also a big problem when our itineray changed due to bad weather. Those that could not hear the captain's announcements didn't know what was going on!

All that being said, we would cruise w/ Orient again. Although the ship did not win us over, the over all experience did. The excursions were very well done and the tour guides were excellent. The hotels were also excellent, although some complained that the Orient staff in the hotels were unhelpful. (This was our experience in Barcelona, but we had an excellent staff person in Rome.)

Although we enjoyed all our excursions, our favorite excursions were: the free tour of Rome the morning of the first day (included St. Peter's and colosseum), the all-day tour of Florence (our guide was great), and Montserrat (Barcelona). You should note that excursions include all entrance fees for the sights and you don't have to stand in line to enter. (A big time saver at some places like the Colosseum and the Accademia.)

I hope this answers your questions.

Jul 24th, 2001, 04:29 AM
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thanks for the info I had just one more question we are torn as to take the full tour of florence or just the bus ride back and forth. On the full day tour did they give you chances to shop did and how was the lunch that was included any info on that excursion will be appreciated greatly
Jul 24th, 2001, 06:25 AM
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The full day in Florence included a full lunch in an attractive restaurant. Afterwards, we had 1-1 1/2 hrs to shop, if so desired. Those who did not want to shop went on a tour of a leather tanning shop. Those who wanted more time to shop were given a time and place to meet the group. Our guide tried to meet everyone's needs and we enjoyed the tour very much.

Passengers who opted for tranport only from Florence said that Orient had a guide on the bus who provided site information.

One thing to think about. If you are interested in seeing the Accademia (w/ the original David statue), the tour is a good option because you don't have to wait in line, and your admission is included in the cost of the tour. I don't believe the admission price was expensive but the wait time can be a factor.

Have a great trip. Pat
Aug 10th, 2001, 07:45 AM
Louise Kennedy
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Re: Florence trip - DONT DO EITHER. We hate being herded around like cattle, so took to train ourselves to Florence after paying $55 for the Rome trip the day before and having a dreadful time with people being late both ways. Taxi to the station cost $5, train ticket cost $10 each and runs every hour, taking just over an hour. Florence is easy to do yourself and it is much more satisfying if you go it alone. As the ship sails quite late that day, you don't need to worry about missing it, where as I wouldn't recommend going it alone in some places as transport is not reliable and the ship won't wait - no problems in Italy though. Hope you have a great time. Any more questions just ask - [email protected]
Aug 13th, 2001, 01:02 PM
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Hi , I too have questions about shore
excursions. We're going to the Med/Italy in October (on Costa cruise), and wonder if we should do the planned shore excursion to understaning is it takes about 1 1/2 hours to get from port to Rome.Is it worth it to go via taxi (or train) on your own?
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