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tradeshowgirl

Western Mediterranean - Allure vs. Greece/Croatia on Rhapsody

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Hello!

I am looking for information on the Western Mediterranean itinerary on Allure of the Seas or the Greece/Croatia itenerary on Rhapsody. I am not looking for info on the Allure as I've sailed it before, but rather on the itinerarys, or if someone can compare the two boats. Hope that make sese. Can someone guide me as to where to find reviews of this specific itinerary? Looking to sail early June, 2020.

We are really limited on our travel dates, so needs to be something the first week of June.

 

Thank you!

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There's no comparison between the two ships.  Rhapsody is one of the smaller ships in Royal's fleet, and Allure is one of the largest cruise ships in the world.  Many more activities and food venues on Allure.

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Rhapsody and Allure are at opposite ends of the spectrum in the Royal fleet (smaller/older vs larger/newer). But I wouldn’t select based on that. I’d select based on itinerary. Personally I’d go for the Greece/Croatia itinerary simply because we did the Western Mediterranean itinerary 10 months ago. We had an absolutely fantastic time on that cruise. But Western. Mediterranean cruises tend to be more popular so you’ll find many more ships (usually the larger and newer ones) from many more cruise lines operating that region. Eastern Mediterranean (Greece/Croatia) tends to attract smaller ships.

 

If you’ve never been to either the Eastern or Western Mediterranean, go with the one that sounds more appealing to you. Europe is so vast and rich in culture and sights that no matter which cruise you select, you will only scratch the surface, and very lightly. 

 

With all of that said, have you considered other cruise lines? As mentioned above, many cruise lines operate cruises in the Mediterranean so you’ll have plenty to choose from, including some European cruise lines like Costa and MSC. We selected MSC and had an absolutely fantastic time. 

 

No matter what you select, have a great time!

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For a Mediterranean cruise I would much prefer a smaller ship.  I'd rather share the port with 2000 than 6000 shipmates. With a port almost every day, the amenities of the Oasis class are not as useful IMO.

 

As to Eastern or Western, you just have to decide what you want to see most.  We've done both.  We did Eastern in 2007 on Splendour [also a Vision class and similar in size to Rhapsody although not true sister ships]. It was great.  We just did western last fall on Norwegian Epic [RCI didn't have a ship with the itinerary we wanted that meshed with our schedule].  The itinerary was great, but would have preferred a smaller ship.

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I’ve done western med on Oasis and eastern med on both Mariner (8 years ago) and Jewel, last year. I’d go with the smaller ship on eastern med. The ports for me in the Eastern med are more intimate, picturesque and unique. 
Explorer of the Seas is doing Eastern med next year. That’s not Oasis size but it’s certainly not small. Maybe there’s an itinerary there to suit. 

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19 hours ago, mjldvlks said:

For a Mediterranean cruise I would much prefer a smaller ship.  I'd rather share the port with 2000 than 6000 shipmates. With a port almost every day, the amenities of the Oasis class are not as useful IMO.

 

 

I agree.  The Oasis' extras were somewhat wasted on us with 5 port calls lasting 10 + hrs.   But, the itinerary is king in Europe to me.  Pick that bucket list spot that you just have to see, and that should be the deciding factor.

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, tradeshowgirl said:

Hello!

I am looking for information on the Western Mediterranean itinerary on Allure of the Seas or the Greece/Croatia itenerary on Rhapsody. I am not looking for info on the Allure as I've sailed it before, but rather on the itinerarys, or if someone can compare the two boats. Hope that make sese. Can someone guide me as to where to find reviews of this specific itinerary? Looking to sail early June, 2020.

We are really limited on our travel dates, so needs to be something the first week of June.

 

Thank you!

3 fantastic itineraries.

We are sailing Allure again next June because of Central Park, Boardwalk and Royal Promenade which Rhapsody does not have.

Graham

15695189427074730880216293450153.jpg

 

15695195609015900327742914054091.jpg

Edited by grapau27

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I’ve booked the Rhapsody Greek Islands, & Greece & Croatia cruises B2B next year.  We did the Vision earlier this year out of Barcelona round trip & it was fantastic.  Perfect size ship for port intensive cruises.  Rhapsody is a sister ship, so we’re really excited!  I’m certain the smaller ships are going to the better port locations in the Mediterranean.

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We did the Greece/Croatia run in May, and really enjoyed it. It was our first cruise, so probably not the best ones to compare ships with, but we enjoyed it. There was enough to do on the sea days, and enough places to relax, that they felt like a welcome break, rather than a stifling containment.

As far as the stops go:

 

- Dubrovnik - Game of Thrones tour. Great tour, well presented to relate some of the interesting history of the city back to the more modern pop-culture of GoT. Made a great start to the cruise, as a well-polished and entertaining stop.

 

- Montenegro - Discover Montenegro tour. Slightly more off-the-wall with this one. Tour guide was enthusiastic and it worked well with the group. The country is an interesting one, with a fairly turbulent recent past, so it was interesting to see the effects of that as we went through it.

 

- Santorini - Ruins and Oia village. Here's where we misstepped a little. There were things to see, but the tour was somewhat lacking, and all of the stops were too heaving with tourists to be able to move and do anything particularly productive. Combine that with a choice of either the steep steps, or the 2-hour wait for the cable car, and tempers weren't exactly in great form. If we were to do it again, this would be the port day that we'd stay on the ship, and take advantage of the quiet facilities.

 

- Katakolon - Olympia and winery tour. This was a gem, and a great last stop. Olympia is great, and very interesting to see the ruins, and history. There were a few shopping stops before the wine tasting at a place full of history, and some very tasty bottles. The tour guide was experienced, and knew fully how to keep everyone together.

 

For the evenings, we went to the finale show, but otherwise, milled around enjoying the atmosphere and the various drop-in activities (trivia, the game shows, etc.). 

For food, we had a couple of MDR nights, and a 3-location dining package:

- Chops - Fairly reasonable. It was a more americanised (we're british) steak experience than we were used to, but tasty nonetheless.

- Giovanni's - Less impressed by this one. Italian isn't exactly a rarity on the ships, and it wasn't really much of a quality bump to warrant the extra dining package.

- Izumi - Here was our favourite. Knowledgable staff, great food, and an overall great experience. We went here the evening after my partner was at the sushi-making class, so it gives some idea as to the taste of it.

 

Overall, we had a great time, met a bunch of interesting people, both passengers and crew. Enough so that we booked our second cruise for March.

 

The other thing that I would note, as it was something that gradually became more obvious to us is that 2,000 people in that kind of space isn't many at all. It seems like you're always seeing new faces, but once we started to get to know people, the same familiar faces kept popping up all over the place. It gave the experience a much more neighbourly kind of atmosphere.

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48 minutes ago, Bibblejw said:

If we were to do it again, this would be the port day that we'd stay on the ship, and take advantage of the quiet facilities.

Nah, get your workout on the steps up (and skip the cable car line) and enjoy the Eau de Donkey.

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For the Med, it’d be all about the itinerary for me. Thank you to the person who posted the itin options. Both offer good itins, but I’d say you might as well do the better ship, Allure, because it has a fantastic Med itin. The only advantage of the other one IMO is the Venice experience. 

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30 minutes ago, cruisequeen4ever said:

For the Med, it’d be all about the itinerary for me. Thank you to the person who posted the itin options. Both offer good itins, but I’d say you might as well do the better ship, Allure, because it has a fantastic Med itin. The only advantage of the other one IMO is the Venice experience. 

You are welcome.

There are some fantastic itineraries in the Mediterranean but Allure is far superior to Rhapsody in many aspects imo.

The facilities on Allure in particular,

Central Park, Boardwalk and Royal Promenade are absolutely fantastic while Rhapsody has a central atrium only for its main facilities.

Venice has a lovely sail in and out which we did several times on Splendour the same class of ship as Rhapsody which everyone should experience before they move the cruise terminal to the mainland in a few years time.

 

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We enjoyed our Western Mediterranean ported out of Barcelona aboard Allure of the Seas.

 

Our stops were among the longest ever in each destination port, which coupled with private tours allowed us comfortable, relaxing, memorable, and non-rushed views of Florence, Pisa, Rome, Capri Island & Pompeii (from Naples), as well as Marseilles, France and Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

 

One example of this was arriving in Civitavecchia Italy,  being met by our private tour driver and his Mercedes Sprinter van. Less than an hour later we were in Rome - with a wonderful full day of seeing all the sights on our extensive agenda. Since the ship didn't leave port until about 10pm - we had about 12 hours in Rome to see everything without rushing. Outstanding experience we can highly recommend.

 

Having been to Venice and other Eastern Mediterranean port destinations...we found them to be dirtier, people less friendly, and the sights mixed overall.

 

Your own personal preferences should drive your choice.

 

 

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The Venice itinerary is the far better itinerary - nothing can beat walking the walls in Dubrovnik or that sail into Kotor.

 

We have just done Oasis (same itinerary as Allure next year and Symphony last year) - because of the several early starts we barely utilised the facilities on board - there were so many things we didn't do or didn't experience (and bars we didn't visit!)..... 

For the Med it is all about the ports and not the ship IMHO.  It doesn't matter that Rhapsody is a little tired because it's the ports that count.

Save Allure for when the sun shines and you don't have to get off (as when it pours with rain it is not a good ship as the BW and CP are inaccessible...)

Edited by little britain

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On 9/26/2019 at 6:32 PM, grapau27 said:

3 fantastic itineraries.

We are sailing Allure again next June because of Central Park, Boardwalk and Royal Promenade which Rhapsody does not have.

Graham

15695189427074730880216293450153.jpg

 

15695195609015900327742914054091.jpg

We’ve also booked Allure for next year having sailed both Symphony and on Oasis twice this summer on the same itineraries but for the same reasons as you plus the ice show we prefer Oasis class.

Maybe Rhapsody who again we’ve sailed the past few years and are just back from a B2B on just wins with the itinerary but there is simply no comparison with regards to ship and amenities.

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Would your schedule allow you to do both? We hemmed and hawed between the same two itineraries (but for July 2020). And decided to do both with 3 days on land in between the two sailings. 

 

If you can't, I'd go with the itinerary that interests you the most and not let the "allure" of the bigger ships influence your decision. My experience with Europe cruises is that because they're port-intensive, free time is spent sleeping.

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