Having sailed around the Mediterranean on numerous occasions this was the first time that an additional tax had been added to the onboard billing. As well as the usual gratuity which is automatically added to Bevarages and Food items an additional 10 % Spanish tax was also added whilst on retail purchases this was an additional 20%. What happened to duty free prices ? we are still unsure why this cruise attracted this tax was kit because it sailed Barcelona- Barcelona ?
On boarding we bought a wine package which we were informed was 165 US$ for 5 Bottles plus the usual gratity which was an additional 24.25 US$ There was no mention from the stewart who was selling us the package that there would be an additional 10% Spanish tax added and I only noticed this later when I was checking the reciept against the account system on the inroom TV. We choose the wine package as it usually represents good value for money and I had already preselected in my mind my favourite Red and White grapes. We were then disappointed to learn that the Red Robert Mondavi shown on the wine list was out of stock. This was not a good start...
My Husbands luggage arrived to the cabin but mine did not and after enquring with the room stewart he asked if I was carrying any wine. I said I was so he advised me that my luggage was probably with security on deck 1 and after the drill I would need to go and personally retrieve my luggage. I was only carrying one bottle which was allowed so I am unsure why my luggage was put aside. He informed me that in future to carry any wine on the ship in my carry on whilst embarking, This I will definately do in future as it was real hassle to go and get my own luggage and drag it to the ninth deck and along the busy corridor to our cabin.
As Advertised on the RCI Website. Lovely spacious room with large balcony with two sunbeds, chairs and a table. Walk in wardrope. Large bathroom with full length bath.Near to lift but never heard passing foot traffic.
Use the free port shuttle which RCI do not advertise. When getting off ship follow the green painted line to the port entrance where the free shuttle bus is. It stops within walking distance of Marseilles city centre.Marseilles is a safe and beautiful port. The main tourist attraction is Norte Dame De La Garde. Instead of paying for expensive hop on bus or tourist small train use the public bus. There are plenty of stops along tht promenade for bus 60 cost 1.90E return.Buy souvenirs of lavender bags and soap for a few Euro light in the suitcase.Use the free shuttle to return to the ship.Free wifi McDonalds.
Tender port to this beautiful village- Use public transport. The day we were there the local trains were on strike. We took the bus. It is a walk to the top of the village hill to main road that runs between Nice and Monaco. Bus to Nice costs 1.50E single. Bus is a double lenght with 37 seats and 180 standing passengers. Run frequently as used by the locals.Free wifi Mcdonalds. Always carry small euro coin to pay to use the bathrooms even in Gallery La Fayette.
Arrive at dock terminal and take Tram number one to railway station. Tickets for 1 E can be bought at small shop next to tram.Take the Circumvesuvian underground line to Sorrento. Do not buy tickets in main railway station as these are for another railway system and cant be used on the underground Circumvesuvian line.Get off at Erconlano Scavi station for Herculaneum. On arrival at this station do not take the bus for 2Euro but walk. Its left out of the station and downhill . Herculaneum itself is clean and friendly. The ruins of ancient Herculaneum are worth a visit if you have already visited the ruins of Pompei . Take the train onwards to Sorrento another few euros.Sorrento was bustling with tourists walk down side streets to find cafes. After exploring we then took the hoovercraft from down from Sorrento port back to Naples. The hourney time was apprx 45 mins and the boat docked right next to Liberty of Seas.
This was our Embarkation and Disembarkation port.Firstly we arrived the night before at the airport and took the aerobus to Barcelona city. The aerobus stop is directly outside the arrivals terminal. Book online or beside the bus tickets cost 5.90 euro single each. Be prepared to take your own luggage aboard and stow your own bags. We got off at Placa Espayna for a 3 minute walk to our hotel Ayre Hotel Gran Via which we booked privately over the internet. We were surprised to see that RCI uses this as a transfer hotel. Barcelona is a big city suggest using the hop on or underground metro to get around to sight see On Disembarking in Barcelona we purchased the ship shuttle to the airport but this was a huge mistake. Our bags were left the night before outside our cabin and the next morning we had to collect them dockside on a conveyor belt system where we had to wait ages for them to arrive. We then had to take them outside the terminal building and hand them again to staff where they were put on the back of a huge lorry whilst we were in a separate coach. It was still dark so we couldnt see anything. We sat on the bus over one hour waiting for the bus to fill with other passengers. We eventually left for the airport only to be told at the airport to remain on the bus until all our luggage was offloaded from the lorry. The whole experience was chaotic and stressful and everyone was concerned about missing their flights. I would definately not recommend using the RCI transfer to anyone coming off a huge ship like the Liberty at Barcelona instead use the self disembarkation option and and wait for a taxi which were available outside the port terminal.