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LIVE - VISION Med and Greek Isles - 6/11-23

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Just now, grapau27 said:

Dangerous on the back of a donkey.

I wouldn't know - I walked.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

I wouldn't know - I walked.

85°f in August so we took the cable car on a few visits instead.

You need to be early for the cable car otherwise the queues are massive.

Screenshot_20190614-195045.jpg

Edited by grapau27

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On 6/9/2019 at 6:51 AM, RKHOOKER said:

I’m on VOTS doing the July 17 Med cruise.  I’m very interested in your reviews of not only the ship but the ports, & any tips that may help us! 

We are looking at doing our own tours in all ports except Livorno, where we’ll most likely book a tour.

We have booked the Key & the Deluxe drink package.  We’re getting really excited about our first RC & Med cruise even though we’ve done 4 cruises previously.  

Hopefully we can learn from your experience. Cheers! 🍻🥂

Hi RK, we will be on the same cruise with you. We are also super excited and so looking forward to this cruise. We will be celebrating our 35 wedding anniversary on this cruise. The only we have left to do is the packing. We booked private one on one tours in Athens and Rome and ships tours in the other ports of call. We will be in Barcelona 3 days prior to the cruise and have also booked some private tours.Flying business class from Seattle.

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Well a couple of weeks ago (May 26th) I rode the mule down because the wait for the cable car was 1 1/2 hours...much harder it appeared than riding up...brutal !!!! Especially when someone behind me had a mule that was kicking. The mule leader stopped and dismounted to move the offending mule to the back of the pack...leaving his mule unattended....who once realizing it rook off running...pulling the rest of us along. It took a few minutes for the leader to run and catch up. So my near death experience on a runaway mule train (yes...I was thinking did my life insurance and travel insurance cover DEATH By MULE)......One of the craziest stories I've had to tell in my 25+ RCI cruises and 70 years of travel. What an EXPERIENCE :classic_ohmy:

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They are donkeys, not mules. The ship recommended not taking the donkeys. I wanted to walk. Wife said no. Took the cable car

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11 hours ago, grapau27 said:

Santorini is fantastic.

You have to tender in and cable car to the top.

Screenshot_20190614-161552.jpg

 

This photo is amazing! We will be anchoring in the next hour or two. 🤗

 

8 hours ago, Biker19 said:

Or share the walk up with the donkeys.

 

Not sure about the donkey ride, mostly because of the weight restriction. Still going back and forth about taking the walk down though. I’ve read that you can get some great pictures on the way. And down those stairs would definitely be a lot easier than up!

 

7 hours ago, wingmom2 said:

following as we are looking at taking a trip across and think cruising would be the best option. 🙂 Looks like you are having an incredible time, thanks for sharing such detailed information.

 

We are having an incredible time, thanks! Glad to have you along. 😊

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7 hours ago, Debs6475 said:

Hi RK, we will be on the same cruise with you. We are also super excited and so looking forward to this cruise. We will be celebrating our 35 wedding anniversary on this cruise. The only we have left to do is the packing. We booked private one on one tours in Athens and Rome and ships tours in the other ports of call. We will be in Barcelona 3 days prior to the cruise and have also booked some private tours.Flying business class from Seattle.

 

35 years, that’s wonderful! You are going to love this itinerary. So far, it’s been outstanding. 

 

1 hour ago, Ashland said:

Well a couple of weeks ago (May 26th) I rode the mule down because the wait for the cable car was 1 1/2 hours...much harder it appeared than riding up...brutal !!!! Especially when someone behind me had a mule that was kicking. The mule leader stopped and dismounted to move the offending mule to the back of the pack...leaving his mule unattended....who once realizing it rook off running...pulling the rest of us along. It took a few minutes for the leader to run and catch up. So my near death experience on a runaway mule train (yes...I was thinking did my life insurance and travel insurance cover DEATH By MULE)......One of the craziest stories I've had to tell in my 25+ RCI cruises and 70 years of travel. What an EXPERIENCE :classic_ohmy:

 

Okay, not to belittle your near-death experience, but that is HYSTERICAL! 😂 

Pretty sure we won’t be on the back of one of the donkeys if we walk down!

 

31 minutes ago, Seville2Cabo said:

They are donkeys, not mules. The ship recommended not taking the donkeys. I wanted to walk. Wife said no. Took the cable car

 

And, to be honest, this is probably what will happen at the end of the day. 

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12 hours ago, dreadpirate3 said:

 

Yes! Just like this photo of the old fort El Morro in San Juan against the water is one of my favorites.

 

image.thumb.png.05ede07815eedafd4470461dfd43eb9f.png

 

I love this photo! 

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Had dinner in Chops last night. When you are there for dinner instead of lunch, they upgrade your butter to some kind of mustard-butter. Pretty sure we had a pimiento spread on Anthem in October. This was good though, and I’d be okay with, you know, just butter. 

 

IMG_4901-600x450.jpg

 

I had the wedge salad and didn’t take a picture. They didn’t do anything crazy with it though. It’s about a quarter of a head of iceberg lettuce, drizzled with blue cheese dressing, and topped with bacon crumbles. There were cherry tomatoes in there somewhere. 

 

Got the crab cake appetizer. 

 

IMG_4902-600x450.jpg

 

 

Dinner entree for both of us was the 9 oz filet. I always get the larger one and give part of it to Mark anyway. Mine ends up being a 6-7 oz and he gets the rest. I wanted the asparagus but, apparently, they were now out of it. We had it during lunch on boarding day. Guess they underestimated the popularity. I ordered the mac n cheese instead. This always sounds like it’s going to be better than it actually is. Mark got a baked potato. 

 

IMG_4904-338x450.jpg

 

IMG_4903-600x450.jpg

 

 

For dessert, I got the red velvet cake (which was actually more like a pink velvet cake, but that’s okay because it’s really just a vehicle to get cream cheese frosting to my mouth).

 

IMG_4906-600x450.jpg

 

Mark got the Apple Pie a la Mode. He and I have very divided feelings about RCCL’s apple pie. 

 

First: It has raisins in it. 

 

Second:  PEOPLE. It. Has. Raisins. In. It. 

 

He’s ambivalent. Doesn’t care one way or another that they are there. So he eats it. He thinks it’s kinda weird, but he eats it.

 

You can make your own decision.

 

IMG_4905-338x450.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

So, was wondering if the Key would help at all for disembarkation at any of our ports. Didn’t need it in Malta, but I asked at Guest Services about the tendering process with the Key. I was told, “You have the Key sticker on your card. Just show the card when you want to board the tender and you can go whenever you want.”

 

Got back from last night’s show and these were waiting with all the papers on the bed. 

 

IMG_4907-338x450.jpg

 

This makes me happy, because the line for tender tickets supposedly started at 6:30 this morning. We have a non-ship’s tour booked in Santorini, so didn’t really want to have to wait forever to get off the ship. 

Edited by aring75

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Seville2Cabo said:

They are donkeys, not mules. The ship recommended not taking the donkeys. I wanted to walk. Wife said no. Took the cable car

 

They are mules. Not donkeys. MULES. Look at a photo. 

Edited by Coralc

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, grapau27 said:

Santorini is fantastic.

You have to tender in and cable car to the top.

 

There are boats at the base of the cliff, where the tender boats drop you, that take you to Oia and includes a bus back to Fira. We then walked down the steps. They are not steep and are easier than you think. But you have to dodge the mules

Edited by sgmn

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16 hours ago, grapau27 said:

Santorini is fantastic.

You have to tender in and cable car to the top.

 

There are boats at the base of the cliff, where the tender boats drop you, that take you to Oia and includes a bus back to Fira. We then walked down the steps. They are not steep and are an easier than you think. But have to dodge the mules

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10 minutes ago, sgmn said:

There are boats at the base of the cliff, where the tender boats drop you, that take you to Oia and includes a bus back to Fira. We then walked down the steps. They are not steep and are easier than you think. But you have to dodge the mules

Every time we have been to Santorini it has been 80f+ so didn't want to climb 600 steps or use the donkeys.

The cable car is cheap but if you are not early especially if there are a few ships in port the queues are massive but there are some shops at the base where your wife can look in while you keep the place in the queue.

There is talk Santorini is going to severely restrict the number of cruise ships.

Screenshot_20190614-195045.jpg

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7 hours ago, aring75 said:

Had dinner in Chops last night. When you are there for dinner instead of lunch, they upgrade your butter to some kind of mustard-butter. Pretty sure we had a pimiento spread on Anthem in October. This was good though, and I’d be okay with, you know, just butter. 

 

IMG_4901-600x450.jpg

 

I had the wedge salad and didn’t take a picture. They didn’t do anything crazy with it though. It’s about a quarter of a head of iceberg lettuce, drizzled with blue cheese dressing, and topped with bacon crumbles. There were cherry tomatoes in there somewhere. 

 

Got the crab cake appetizer. 

 

IMG_4902-600x450.jpg

 

 

Dinner entree for both of us was the 9 oz filet. I always get the larger one and give part of it to Mark anyway. Mine ends up being a 6-7 oz and he gets the rest. I wanted the asparagus but, apparently, they were now out of it. We had it during lunch on boarding day. Guess they underestimated the popularity. I ordered the mac n cheese instead. This always sounds like it’s going to be better than it actually is. Mark got a baked potato. 

 

IMG_4904-338x450.jpg

 

IMG_4903-600x450.jpg

 

 

For dessert, I got the red velvet cake (which was actually more like a pink velvet cake, but that’s okay because it’s really just a vehicle to get cream cheese frosting to my mouth).

 

IMG_4906-600x450.jpg

 

Mark got the Apple Pie a la Mode. He and I have very divided feelings about RCCL’s apple pie. 

 

First: It has raisins in it. 

 

Second:  PEOPLE. It. Has. Raisins. In. It. 

 

He’s ambivalent. Doesn’t care one way or another that they are there. So he eats it. He thinks it’s kinda weird, but he eats it.

 

You can make your own decision.

 

IMG_4905-338x450.jpg

 

 

AGREE!! Raisins don't belong in apple pie!  Really, the only place for raisins, imho, is the trash can!

Had have mac n cheese in Chops on different ships, and it is always different.  Some better than others.

Now for the cream cheese frosting....YUM!

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9 hours ago, aring75 said:

 Still going back and forth about taking the walk down though. I’ve read that you can get some great pictures on the way. 

Unless you go down real early expect a real long line for the cable car. Yes, pic opportunities on the way down, just watch where you walk.

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38 minutes ago, JBSteelerfan said:

AGREE!! Raisins don't belong in apple pie!  Really, the only place for raisins, imho, is the trash can!

Why do so many people on these boards not like raisins?

I LOVE raisins and I ALWAYS put them in my home-made apple pie. I soak them in orange juice first, if I know kids are going to be eating it, or Cointreau, if I'm only going to be feeding it to adults.

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1 hour ago, FionaMG said:

Why do so many people on these boards not like raisins?

I LOVE raisins and I ALWAYS put them in my home-made apple pie. I soak them in orange juice first, if I know kids are going to be eating it, or Cointreau, if I'm only going to be feeding it to adults.

 

1 hour ago, loveheart said:

I prefer an apple pie to have raisins in it. I love them ❤️

 

Maybe it’s a regional thing. Or depends on how you are used to it. I do not want raisins messing with my apple pie. Even if the boozy raisins do sound like they would probably be much-improved. 

 

My husband’s grandmother put raisins in her brownies. Now THAT was just uncalled for. You couldn’t even see them until it was too late. 😑

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1 minute ago, aring75 said:

 

 

Maybe it’s a regional thing. Or depends on how you are used to it. I do not want raisins messing with my apple pie. Even if the boozy raisins do sound like they would probably be much-improved. 

 

My husband’s grandmother put raisins in her brownies. Now THAT was just uncalled for. You couldn’t even see them until it was too late. 😑

Raisins in brownies is a step too far!

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The Priority Tender tickets really paid off from the Key. We could have gotten up early and stood in line, but instead, all we had to do was head down to Deck 2 when we were ready. We showed the tickets to the crew member controlling the flow of traffic at the stairwell. He put us on the very first tender to Santorini. 

 

We we met our guide at the top where the cable car lets people off. We learned that unless your tour description says otherwise, this is the process for most privately arranged tours. There were four or five other people holding signs with names when we met our guide. 

 

Keep in mind, each cable car only holds six people. Then, there are only six cars going up and back at a time. This is why the lines can get so long. 

 

IMG_4937-338x450.jpg

 

Our guide told us that at the end of the day when several ships are in port at once, she has seen a line nearly 1-1/2 km long. That’s crazy. And I understand why someone would want to walk down instead of wait in that kind of line!

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Our tour today was with Santorini Best Tours. And while we met our guide at the port in Fira (where the cable car lets out) we started our tour in Oia. Our guide was Danai (pronounced Dan-EYE) and she was a native Santorini resident. It was wonderful to see the island (group of islands) through her eyes and hear her descriptions and stories. 

 

IMG_4942-338x450.jpg

 

 

IMG_4947-338x450.jpg

 

Danai gave us recommendations for the places that had the best coffee. Also, I wanted to buy a pair of sandals. Of course, I didn’t want cheap souvenir sandals, I wanted something comfortable enough to walk in. So she walked me around the corner, away from the main walkway, to a place where she bought some shoes a couple of months ago. I found cute, but comfortable shoes that I will actually wear after I get back home. 

 

Another reason I love to book small and private group tours!!

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How long was the wait for the cable car going up once you were off the ship?  I'm guessing we'll be walking down but definitely not up.

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We moved on to Imerovigli and Firostefani - walking, taking pictures, and talking about the history and current culture of Santorini. 

 

IMG_4950-600x450.jpg

 

 

IMG_4952-329x450.jpg

 

 

IMG_4998-338x450.jpg

 

We ended up back in Fira where we asked for a lunch recommendation. Danai gave us three options. One had the best view but so-so food. The second had a good view and good food. The third had an okay view, but amazing food. 

 

We were going to go with the amazing food, but they weren’t going to open until dinner. So, we went with Option #2. 

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17 minutes ago, bobmacliberty said:

How long was the wait for the cable car going up once you were off the ship?  I'm guessing we'll be walking down but definitely not up.

 

We waited less than five minutes, but we were on the first tender. I don’t know if it gets backed up or not, but I would guess earlier is probably better. 

 

Honestly, we only waited as long as it took for people to buy their tickets. 

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