We booked a 12 night Mediterranean Cruise on the Ruby Princess at the end of January, 2013 for a departure in May.
Our cruise included a $500 credit for airfare per person. This was a huge savings as we were going into Venice and leaving from Rome. When I checked flying on my own it was over $2500 per person. We ended up paying a little over $800 per person for our air through the cruise line.
After booking our cruise, I always sign up for the Cruise Critic roll call to keep up with tours that people are putting together (which are much cheaper and nicer than what the cruise ship offers), set up tours for others to join, people post about price drops, meet and greet, etc. From reading the boards, I learned of a price drop for my cruise.
If you have not paid for your cruise in full, you can go back to your travel agent and request an adjustment, or an upgrade when the price drops for your cruise. Once you have paid for the cruise in full, you can no longer go back and get an adjustment. This price drop allowed me, to upgrade to an obstructed ocean view cabin from an inside cabin guarantee, for no charge.
You need to do your homework before calling the travel agent as the travel agent will only give you a list of the cabin numbers available, they will not have any idea what the view looks like. It is really important to check out the views before committing. I went on-line to see what was available. I looked to see what the view from the cabins actually looked like, click here. You may have the window, but not necessarily any view. After I picked out a few cabins, in case my preferred cabin was no longer available, I called my travel agent to request the change. She had no problem making the change and I went from an inside guarantee to an obstructed view for no additional money. YEAH!
I choose cabin L102 on the Lideo Deck which is at the front of the ship. There are only a couple of cabins in this location. It’s not a through fare that gets a lot of traffic which made for a quiet location. There is a deck right outside our window that not many passengers use because they either don’t know it’s there or don’t know how to get to it. This deck was never crowded when we set sail, or arrived into port. It was the perfect place to take pictures. Here is what the view looks like from several angles out the window from our room.
Here is what the room looks like with the large window. You can leave the curtains open as you can not see in the window from outside. I checked 🙂 The large window and the mirrors made the room appear larger.
Looking back at the entrance, the closets are on the left and the bathroom door is on the right.
The cruise left out of Venice, docking overnight leaving at 6 p.m, which allowed us 1 ½ days to see Venice. We stopped in Dubrovnik, Corfu, Katakolon, Athens, Mykonos, Kusadasi, Santorini, Naples, and returning to Rome.
This was a port intensive cruise with one sea day in the beginning and one sea day towards the end. The fun began planning what to do in each port. We are big DIY travelers whether for a cruise or visiting a new place. I started my research for this cruise using the following web sites: Cruise Critic, Trip Advisor, Tom’s Port Guides, and Rick Steve’s Mediterranean Cruise Ports.
After I do my research, I share the document with my husband so he can provide input on what he would like to do. The moment we finalize what we will be doing in each port, I reserve the car rentals and he obtains maps for the ports we are visiting along with the train, ferry and bus schedules. He also uses Google map street view on what the area looks like so when he gets off the train / bus, he know which direction to go. As soon as we finalize the documents a folders is made for each port. After we have visited the port the paperwork can be thrown away, eliminating the need to carry the information back home. This saves me space in my luggage for more souvenirs.