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Brandi Gribbin

Age: 34

Occupation:Entreprenuer

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2011-08-31

Itinerary: Mediterranean Cruise

There was a ton of stuff to do! I loved that there were 2 pool areas, one reserved only for adults! This was really important because there were a lot of kids...and a lot of kids in the pool equals DIRTY pools! I have to hand it to RC, because every single evening they drained each and every pool and jacuzzi and cleaning it and refilled it with clean water. There are servers walking around everywhere, all the time so if you ever needed anything then you could just stop one and they would bring it to where you were. Fantastic!

Everything was really great on the boat. About the actual cruise, I have only 2 complaints.
- First, I am a working professional and I am used to getting up quite early, which was the case for the cruise, and all of the really fun stuff to do was kind of late for me. For example, there was an "Adult Treasure Hunt" that I missed because it started at 11pm. I know I am lame, but I was so tired. Staying in the sun all day can really tire a person out!
- Second, the constant pushing of sales in your face really became overwhelming. There were always stands out with stuff for sale and if you are strong enough you can simply overlook them and it doesn't really bother you that much. However, I booked a pedicure, and on the last day a haircut. Both the estitician and the stylist pushed pretty heavy for the sales of products. Both tried to sell me something for the "dark circles" under my eyes, (which i don't see and neither do any of my friends) and cellulite. Thank you very much, made me very very uncomfortable. I didn't ask for their opinions on any of this, and when I said no, they kept pushing. The estetician wouldn't let it go....she grabbed my leg and started squeezing to convince me I needed to spend 600 dollars or so on this product. Very rude.

We would do this cruise again, but we look forward to other RC cruises in the future and we would pick excursions more carefully next time.

The food served was far better than I expected! We had 2 waiters (and a "head waiter" that we never even saw). The service was pretty good, but it felt like they kept interrupting our conversations to say something they thought was funny. Felt like they were trying too hard. But the service was very good. Was a little annoyed we were asked to tip the head waiter when we never even saw him.

The highlight of the dining hall were the couple that we met at our table. They were fascinating people! And we are all now friends on facebook!

We had the top deck, sea view double room and it was amazing! Very clean and we were surprised at how much they could do with such little space. The room did not feel small, it was quite comfortable. The service of the room was also impeccable we tipped her extra special.

We took 2 excursions.
- First we took the 7 hour tour of Taormina and Mount Etna. Very disappointing! First of all, the way it works is they take your booking in advance, then because there are so many people doing the excursions they have to sign you in a the theater, and they give you stickers with numbers on them that correlate to your guide. They gave the four of us stickers of a tour that had already left, so we almost missed our tour (keep in mind there are no refunds if you miss your tour!) Mount Etna was a total bust! We happened to go on a day that the volcano actually erupted a little and we didn't see it. Then when we got to the highest point tour buses could go, they set us free for about an hour. We were starving so decided to eat, but the only place to eat up there was one guy with one grill that took 30 minutes to cook us burgers and sausages and still EVERYTHING WAS RAW! Also the cannoli we got were like 4 days old...gross. so we paid 65 euros for lunch and we didn't even eat. Then we climbed the part of mount etna to one of the plateaus and it left a lot to be desired. The second half of the tour was better, Taormina is a beautiful little town. We were very disappointed that we didn't have more time there, i think a total of about an hour. The tour guide was okay, though it was a bit annoying how she kept repeating sentences, felt like she was trying to fill the time. We would not do this tour again. We would opt for the shorter Taormina tour instead.

- Second excursion we took was for 4 hour tour of Ephesus. This is the one that we REALLY looked forward to. This time sign in went better, we made sure to ask if our tour had left or not and they kind of looked at us like we were crazy. The tour guide started off great. He was funny, knowledgable, and kept us engaged...on the bus. When we go to the site however, we couldn't hear him really and it felt like he was running through...which isn't good because it was very slippery and someone in our party slipped and fell (it wasn't me :) ). Ephesus was really beautiful and very interesting. The best part was that the site itself had a free show (about 5 minutes long) which was pretty cool. After the site, we got back on the bus and were taken to a "demonstration" on Turkish rugs. The guide set it up perfectly. Said, "the Turkish custom is to offer you a drink" and that it was what they all did when you walked into a shop. The Demonstration was really an hour long sales pitch. Though very interesting, we were a little annoyed that we were forced into this situation when we could have stayed in Ephesus or gone back to the boat and had fun. My friend took the bait, asked how much they run for, then they took us to another showroom where they tried really hard to make a sale. They wanted 12,000 Euros for one of these rugs...and before my friend had a chance to respond, the seller said, "I don't like when clients try to bargain down the pric." Well, that did it for me. We were about to leave when the seller went down to 8000, but we weren"t interested anymore. As we were leaving, the guide came running out of the shop, grabbed me by the shoulder and said, "I can probable get you a better deal". It was a desperate move. It made me look at the guide in a totally different light. In the end I don't think we would take this tour again.

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