12 Night Holy Land Cruise on Jewel of the Seas from Rome, Civitavecchia, Italy Rhodes, Greece, Beach
The 12 Night Holy Land Cruise from Rome, Civitavecchia, Italy visits Sicily (Messina), Italy; Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel; Haifa, Israel; Limassol, Cyprus; Rhodes, Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Naples / Capri, Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy. Explore our cruise itineraries and choose from a variety of rooms depending on your needs and budget. Start planning your next cruise vacation by selecting a destination and departure port.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
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12 Night Holy Land Cruise
Itinerary Overview
Explore Jewel of the Seas
Day 1 - Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
Day 2 - Sicily (Messina), Italy
Day 3 - 4 - Cruising
Day 5 - Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel
Day 6 - Haifa, Israel
Day 7 - Limassol, Cyprus
Day 8 - Rhodes, Greece
Day 9 - Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey
Day 10 - Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Day 11 - Cruising
Day 12 - Naples / Capri, Italy
Day 13 - Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
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Rhodes, Greece, Beach
A secluded beach in Rhodes, Greece
This is your

12 Night Holy Land Cruise

Explore This Itinerary
Leaving from
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
Onboard
Jewel of the Seas
Day Port
1
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
Departs at 5:00 PM
2
Sicily (Messina), Italy
From 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
3 - 4
Cruising
Day at sea
5
Jerusalem (Ashdod), Israel
From 6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
6
Haifa, Israel
From 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
7
Limassol, Cyprus
From 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
8
Rhodes, Greece
From 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
9
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey
From 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
From 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
11
Cruising
Day at sea
12
Naples / Capri, Italy
From 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
13
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
Arrives at 5:00 AM
*Port sequence may vary by sailing date.
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Your ship Jewel of the Seas

Your ship
Jewel of the Seas
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Jewel of the Seas, Exterior View, Caribbean and European Cruise Destinations
Exterior view of Jewel of the Seas Cruise With Destinations in Puerto Rico, Antigua, Barbados, and more
Get to know
Jewel of the Seas
After a day spent wandering new shores, dive into a world of thrills on Jewel of the Seas®. Scale the Rock Climbing Wall or catch a movie on the poolside screen. Grab your playbill for West End to Broadway and raise a glass at Vintages. It's time to go all-in on adventure.

DECKED OUT FOR ADVENTURE

Discover countless ways to spend your days between ports, like fueling friendly competition in a round of mini golf and taking adventure to new heights on the Rock Climbing Wall. If you're after laid back lounging, catch a movie on the poolside screen or check into Vitality℠ at Sea Spa and Fitness Center.

DIG INTO DARING

Whether you're sipping wines from around the world at Vintages, savoring fresh-rolled sushi at Izumi, indulging in prime steaks at Chops Grille℠ or sitting down to a five-course epicurean adventure at Chef's Table, you're bound to find flavors as thrilling as the shores you'll explore.

NOT THE SAME OLD SONG & DANCE

Travel from London's West End to New York City in West End to Broadway, a cross-continental celebration of music theater production. And journey from ancient Atlantis to colorful India in the celestial show City of Dreams. On this ship, every show's a hit.

Day 1: Rome, Italy

Day 1
Rome
Civitavecchia, Italy
View Itinerary
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Colosseum
View of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Things to do in
Rome
Departs at 5:00 PM
With 28 centuries of celebrated history, Rome holds the edge when it comes to unrivaled adventures. The city that sparked the world’s largest empire is very much alive today with a jumble of ancient ruins, world-renowned art and vivacious street culture. Here you can live la dolce vita, recalling the glory days of Ancient Rome and twirling forks full of pasta in a trattoria. Ride past centuries-old basilicas in a three-wheeled Ape Calessino, or stand in awe of paintings by Italian masters at Villa Borghese. Whether it’s Vatican City’s spiritual allure, Trastevere’s backstreet charms, or the Colosseum’s embattled legacy— The Eternal City endures with endless adventures.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Pantheon
The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

ANCIENT AND AMAZING

Walk through the heart of Ancient Rome. Start at the Colosseum, an enormous arena where gladiators once battled. Then meander around the Roman Forum’s timeworn ruins, past crumbling temples and basilicas. See where emperors lived on Palatine Hill— and enjoy an up-close view of the 2,000-year-old, well-preserved Pantheon church.
Insider tip
The train ride between Civitavecchia and Rome is approximately 80 minutes each way.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Piazza Navona
A fountain in Piazza Navona in Italy

ADVENTURE SQUARED

Roam around Rome’s piazzas, as each offers a unique perspective. Dine al fresco in Piazza Navona and climb The Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna. Wander cobbled alleys in bustling Trastevere and browse Campo de’ Fiori’s artisan stalls. Be sure to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain for good measure.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, Statues
Statues in the Vatican Museum

SACRED SPACES

Explore the Vatican Museums’ extraordinary collection of tapestries and classical statues. Step inside the Sistine Chapel and be awed by Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes. Then enter St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the world’s largest churches, to stand under its enormous sky-piercing dome.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, Pizza and pasta
Pizza, pasta, and antipasta on a table in Rome

LOCAL CUISINE

Romans live to eat, whether it’s family-style or in a sidewalk café. For an authentic taste of Cucina Romana, try carciofi alla Romana (braised artichokes) or spaghetti alla carbonara. Enjoy panino (stuffed sandwiches) or thin-crusted Roman pizza. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a scoop of gelato. Then finish the night with a glass of white wine from the surrounding Lazio region.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, Colosseum Vatican Models
Minitature models of the Colosseum and Vatican

SHOPPING

Street stalls throughout the city are your best bet for souvenirs. Via Condotti offers a string of couture Italian designers. Browse artist studios along Via Margutta, or the indie artisan retailers of the Monti neighborhood. Porta Portese is the city’s largest flea market— and La Rinascente, the first department store.

Day 2: Sicily, Italy

Day 2
Sicily
Messina, Italy
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Sicily (Messina), Italy, Aerial View
Aerial view of Sicily (Messina), Italy
Things to do in
Sicily
From 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Messina is Sicily's panoramic gateway — located on the northeastern corner of the island, the city just kisses the boot of mainland Italy's southern tip. Get lost among the patchwork of churches and antique palaces. The Messina Cathedral is in the heart of the city, and its famous bell tower houses the largest mechanical clock in the world — every day at noon, the statues move to Schubert's "Ave Maria." In front of this church, you'll find the Fontana di Orione, a 16th-century fountain that's a work of art in itself, with sculptures of figures from ancient mythology. Cruise to Sicily and take a leisurely walk to the Sacrario di Cristo Re, a hilltop church with panoramic views of the town and the surrounding mountains.
Sicily (Messina), Italy, Orions Fountain
Orions fountain in Sicily (Messina), Italy

Photographer's Playground

Messina's panoramic views and patchwork of architectural styles are an invitation for the creative photographer. The Neptune and Orione fountains created by Michelangelo's collaborator, Montorsoli are renaissance masterpieces.
Insider tip
Messina is a great place to discover by foot; within 10 minutes you can be at the Cathedral.
Sicily (Messina), Italy, Ancient eternal calendar
An ancient eternal calendar

Dawn of the Duomo

Head to the Astronomical Clock at noon to catch the tower's daily spectacle, starring its bronze statue carousel. The 12th-century Santissima Annunziata Church, Gothic-style Messina Cathedral and the 19th-century Galleria V. Emanuele III span through centuries of architectural diversity.
Insider tip
Go from the Cathedral to the Piazza Cairoli for shopping or to relax at a local cafe with a gelato and espresso.
Sicily (Messina), Italy, Buildings
View of various buildings from a look out point in Messina, Sicily

A Piazza With a View

Once you reach the Sacrario di Cristo Re, you'll discover a panoramic view of the strait and most of Messina. Visit the beautiful temple and the tomb of the unknown soldier during your Sicily cruise. Afterward, walk back down to Piazza Cairoli to Viale San Martino where you can enjoy a refreshing granita, a sorbet-like Sicilian treat.
Sicily (Messina), Italy, Arancini street food
Three arancinis on a napkin

Local Cuisine

The cuisine here is one of the most antique in Sicily, with influences from Greek and Arabic cultures. Try Messina specialty la ghiotta di pesce stocco, filets of cod or swordfish baked in tomato sauce with potatoes, capers and herbs. Sample Sicilian bucatini, which combines pasta with local sardines and North African-inspired flavors like saffron, pine nuts and raisins. Or hit up the street vendors for arancini, the cheesy balls of fried rice that are the ultimate Sicilian comfort food.
Sicily (Messina), Italy, Assorted Ceramic Souvenirs
Assorted colorful ceramic souvenirs

Shopping

Shop in local markets for the typical products, such as cheese, figs and marzipan. Visit the Galleria V. Emanuele — the world's oldest active shopping mall, dating back to the 1800s — for artisanal crafts such as coral jewelry, hand-painted glazed ceramics and fine crocheted items. Stop in the small shops off the main roads to see artisans at work during your Sicily cruise.

Day 3 - 4: Cruising

Day 3 - 4
Cruising
At Sea
View Itinerary
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall During the Day
Girl Climbing the Rock Wall while Parents Watch
CAN'T MISS FAVORITES
Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time
Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time

Rock Climbing Wall

Rise to the occasion and take on the signature Rock Climbing Wall. From beginners to speed climbers, everyone can enjoy an unparalleled view from 40 feet above deck. Included in your fare, no reservation required.
Allure of the Seas Mini Golf Course
Allure of the seas, Dunes, golf, games,

Mini Golf

Hit the links on the high seas! Refine your mini-golf game on a green that overlooks a sea of blue. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

Day 5: Jerusalem, Israel

Day 5
Jerusalem
Ashdod, Israel
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Jerusalem, Israel Panoramic View Domes
A panoramic view of Jerusalem, Israel seeing the entire city with religious domes and stoned small buildings
Things to do in
Jerusalem
From 6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
After you arrive at the port at Ashdod, it's a one-hour drive to Jerusalem, the city sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. Enter the Old City through one of the eight gates, built in the early 16th century by the Turkish Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent — see the ferocious-looking animal carvings of the Lion's Gate or the flower rosettes carved above Herod's Gate. Cruise to Jerusalem and take in the smell of Arabian coffee, incense and spices at one of the markets of the Old City as you venture to the historic Wailing Wall. Enter the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and see its ornate shrines and austere icons. Then, head to the nearby Dome of the Rock, with its distinctive gold dome and traditional Islamic geometric designs.
Jerusalem, Israel Dome of the Rock Mosque
The Dome of the Rock Mosque with a golden dome and mosaic tiles in Jerusalem, Israel

Houses of the Holy

Head to the Temple Mount, an large public space sacred to all three monotheist religions. Visit the iconic gold-plated Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, built in 705 AD. The plaza is surrounded by walls, including the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site. Tourists and pilgrims alike write prayers on pieces of paper and crumple them into the crevices of the wall.
Insider tip
Check the opening hours before your visits, especially during Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath that begins on Fridays at sunset.
Jerusalem, Israel Old Church
Church of the Holy Sepulchre made out of stones with a blue dome and cross over it with blue skies in Jerusalem, Israel

Join the Pilgrims

Join the pilgrims to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of Christianity's most sacred sites. It is believed by many Christians that the church that stands today was built on the spot where Jesus' resurrection occurred. It was built in 335, destroyed in 1009 and gradually rebuilt. When you enter the sanctuary, take in the smell of frankincense and the contemplative candlelight.
Insider tip
Dress modestly — no bare legs, shoulders or backs — if you would like to visit a church, mosque or synagogue.
Jerusalem, Israel Holocaust Sculpture
The Holocaust Sculpture with broken columns coming out of the ground in Jerusalem, Israel

Powerful Memorial

Yad Vashem, an 18-hectare site, is Israel's official memorial to the 6 million Jews who perished during World War II. Photos of those killed completely cover one of the ceilings. There is a collection of works created in ghettos and camps, and an eternal flame burns near a crypt containing the ashes of the victims.
Jerusalem, Israel Pita Bread Israeli Salad
A warm toasted pita bread topped with eggplant, tzaziki sauce, and israeli salad

Local Cuisine

The culinary scene is a creative mixture of cuisines from Jerusalem's countless immigrants. Enjoy some hummus with bread, falafel, kebab, shawarma or other Middle Eastern fare in the Old City during your Jerusalem cruise. For Mediterranean-style eateries, go to Jaffa Gate where you can find a bounty of street vendors selling local fare like burekas, a flaky pastry filled with savor cheese and vegetables.
Jerusalem, Israel Ceramic Plates Souvenirs
Blue painted ceramic plates sold at souvenir shops at Arab bazaar in Jerusalem

Shopping

Browse the arcade with art boutiques at Cardo in the Old City. In the Muslim Quarter and Mahane Yehuda Market, you'll find Arabic ceramics, embroidery, coffee, spices and sweets. For hand-stitched clothing and bags from a collective of West Bank women go to the Bint Al Balad Workshop and Cafe on HaAhim Pereire St.

Day 6: Haifa, Israel

Day 6
Haifa
Israel
View Itinerary
Haifa, Israel Holy Places
View from above of the Bahai Holy Places in Haifa and the Western Galilee
Things to do in
Haifa
From 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Set on the slopes of Mount Carmel, Haifa is Israel's Mediterranean oasis. Stroll around the smart German Colony, with its restored streets settled in the 1860s lined with restaurants, cafes and art galleries. Continue toward the tropical Bah'ai Gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take a meditative walk around the 19 different terraced gardens. Cruise to Haifa, Israel and visit the Shrine of the Bab, with its striking golden dome composed of 12,000 tiles. For even better views, climb up to the Viewing Balcony to look down on the shrine and out toward the Mediterranean Sea. Perhaps it's time to relax on the beach now? Pop down to Bat Galim for windsurfing or a stroll along the boardwalk.
Haifa, Israel Shrine of the bab
Shrine of the Bab and lower terraces at the Bahai World Center in Haifa, Israel

Better in Bab

Visit the Shrine of the Bab, a pilgrimage site built in 1953. It's said to hold the remains of the Bab, the spiritual predecessor to the Baha'i faith's prophet Baha'ullah. Canadian architect William Sutherland Maxwell unified Middle Eastern and European styles here. Then, visit the symmetric Baha'i Gardens with their 19 steep terraces.
Insider tip
There are banks in Hadar and around Carmel Center where you can get the local currency, New Israeli Shekel (NIS).
Haifa, Israel Cable Car
Three cable cars in Haifa, Israel

Star of the Sea

Take the cable car up to Mt Carmel (546 meters) and enjoy the magnificent views. Visit the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, Latin for "Star of the Sea." Admire the church's beautifully painted ceiling and dome. Stretching back to the Crusader era, the monks originally inhabited the mountain caves.
Insider tip
Make sure the cab driver uses the meter or negotiate a price before you get in a taxi.
Haifa, Israel Typical House German Colony
A typical house from the German colony surrounded by trees and flower beds in Haifa, Israel

Romantic Quarter

Stroll around the picturesque, restored German Colony at the foot of the Baha'i Gardens. German Templars who came to establish a Christian community here built the houses in the 19th century. Cruise to Israel to admire the pretty stone houses, browse the little shops, and meet the locals in the lively cafes.
Insider tip
Dress modestly if you want to visit the Shrine of the Bab or a church.
Haifa, Israel Shawarma Falafel
Traditional Israeli shawarma and falafel with fried eggplant

Local Cuisine

Fill up for your Haifa adventure with some burekas, a crispy phyllo dough pastry often filled with vegetables, spices and cheese. Enjoy Middle Eastern fare like falafel wraps slathered in tahini sauce or lamb shawarma brightened up with herbaceous parsley in the Wadi Nisnas or Hadar neighborhoods. For desert, taste sweet baklava, with layers of flaky pastry and pistachio sweetened with honey, or knefah, a light cheesecake soaked in sweet syrup.
Haifa, Israel Ceramic Plates
Ceramic plates and other souvenirs in the flea markets in Haifa, Israel

Shopping

Haifa's largest shopping mall is the Grand Canyon and includes over 200 designer and boutique shops. In the Haifa Flea Market, you can find vintage and secondhand items, including handmade silver and gold jewelry. During your Israel cruise, look for decorative plates and ceramics hand-painted with traditional geometric patterns or Holy Land-themed designs.

Day 7: Limassol, Cyprus

Day 7
Limassol
Cyprus
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Limassol, Cyprus Old Street
Beautiful old street decorated with plants and lights in Limassol, Cyprus
Things to do in
Limassol
From 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Limassol offers ancient history, a wide variety of cuisine, Blue Flag beaches and some of the most beautiful coastline in the world. With a story that dates back to antiquity, the castle in the historic center is where Richard the Lionheart married, and it's from here that the entire town radiates. The surrounding area is a heady mix of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and shops. Cruise to Cyprus to find plenty of historical and cultural sites, including museums, churches and old shuttered houses that give you a view into the past. When you're ready to dust the sand off from the beach, head to the glamorous marina to discover how Limassol is much more than sun and sea.
Limassol, Cyprus Kolossi Clastle
Kolossi Castle, a former Cruisader stronghold on the edge of Kolossi village, in Limassol, Cyprus

Colossal Kolossi

Located about 11 kilometers from the city center, Kolossi Castle was built in 1210 by the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and acted as a stronghold for the city. During the Middle Ages, it stored reserves of sugarcane. While it is now partially in ruins, it stills bears its former owner's coat of arms and its three floors offer a one-of-a-kind look into the past with much to explore.
Insider tip
Limassol has plenty of sandy and rocky beaches within easy reach, including the main beach: Akti Olympion.
Limassol, Cyprus Ancient Amphitheatre
Ancient amphitheatre near Limassol, Cyprus

Antiquity Today

Considered the most impressive archaeological remains on Cyprus, much of what you discover at UNESCO-protected Kourion dates back to the Romans. This includes the Theater, the Forum, he Nymphaeum, the Public Baths, the House of the Gladiators and much more. The restored Greek Roman Theater is still in use today and offers unique acoustics as well as views of the city. While there are no guided tours of the ruins, there are plenty of information boards to read along the way.
Insider tip
Among the many churches you'll find in Limassol, the Agia Napa Church located in the center is the one to visit.
Limassol, Cyprus Medieval Castle
The medieval Limassol Castle in Limassol, Cyprus

Pottering Around Town

The Limassol Archaeology Museum is connected to Limassol Castle, and it traces the history and development of Cyprus from its prehistory roots through to Roman times. Much of what is on display was unearthed close by, including a number of items from Kourion. Part of the museum is dedicated solely to ancient Amathus, and for those who love to see pottery from throughout the ages, this is the place for you to visit during your vacation.
Limassol, Cyprus Greek Salad
Greek salad with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, basil and olives, in Limassol, Cyprus

Local Cuisine

Local, as well as, international influences are found in Limassol cuisine, including a strong Asian influence. Local seafood, such as clams and mussels, play a big part in traditional eateries. For something light, start with a Greek salad with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, basil and olives. With restaurants lining the waterfront as well as tucked away among the streets of the historic center, you'll find something to suit your palette.
Limassol, Cyprus Traditional Parasols
Limassol, Cyprus Traditional Handmade Lace Parasols in local souvenir shop in Limassol, Cyprus

Shopping

Head to Agiou Andreou Street for local items and Makarios Avenue for designer duds during your Cyprus cruise. Limassol has plenty to offer the inveterate shopper. Leather goods, olive oil, traditional lacework and glassworks are all of high quality and many are created using traditional methods.

Day 8: Rhodes, Greece

Day 8
Rhodes
Greece
View Itinerary
Rhodes, Greece, Lindos Castle
View of Lindos Castle above the town
Things to do in
Rhodes
From 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The Colossus might not be standing anymore, but the Greek island of Rhodes still delivers beauty and allure on a giant scale. The island instantly greets you with serene white-sand beaches and wide-open blue skies. See the site in the harbor where the now-destroyed wonder of the ancient world once stood. Then, head to the Old Town, surrounded by medieval walls and seven ancient gates. Don't miss the Palace of the Grandmaster, with its mosaic floors dating from Hellenic, Roman and early Christian times. Shop for a colorful menagerie of seashells by the shoreline — and don't forget to spend some time relaxing beside the translucent blue waves with your Greece cruise.
Rhodes, Greece, Ruins
Ancient ruins in Rhodes, Greece

Colossal History

The site where the Colossus once stood is a momentary stop, but Rhodes offers plenty of other history. Ascend the Acropolis of Rhode, which rises above the port. Or stroll through the scenic Old Town, where you can climb the clock tower for a bird's-eye view of the city.
Insider tip
Don't be fooled by how small Rhodes looks on the map. Put fewer items on your itinerary rather than more to avoid missing your boat.
Rhodes, Greece, Filerimos Monastery
Filerimos monastery in Rhodes, Greece

Monestary on the Mount

Take the 20-minute drive to Phileremos. It's a moderately difficult hike to scale the hill here. At the summit, you'll encounter a priceless panorama and a peaceful monastery lined with cypress trees.
Insider tip
It might seem tempting to rent a car if you want to explore the outer reaches of Rhodes, but since driving and parking within the city are highly regulated, a taxi is a better bet.
Rhodes, Greece, Panoramic view of Lindos Bay
View of Lindos Bay in Greece

Land Meets Sea

If you're up for an excursion, hail a cab to Lindos Bay. Here, with your Greece cruise, you'll find the perfect balance of idyllic scenery and convenience — it's less than an hour drive each way from the port.
Rhodes, Greece, Baked Sea Bass
A baked sea bass filet with a side of rice

Local Cuisine

If seafood is your thing, you've come to the right place. Some of Rhodes' specialities include stuffed clams shells, grilled sea bass and squid, served grilled or fried. For dessert, try tangy local feta drizzled with sweet honey and topped with crunchy sesame seeds. Cruise to Greece and stick around the harbor at the northern tip of the island for seaside dining.
Rhodes, Greece, Souvenir shopping boat
A souvenir shopping boat offering a wide selection of items

Shopping

The most scenic spots to shop in Rhodes are the many boats parked along the sides of the port, where you can pick up colorful sea shells to bring back home. Once you're done here, visit Labryinthos Arts and Crafts to browse creations by local artists.

Day 9: Ephesus, Turkey

Day 9
Ephesus
Kusadasi, Turkey
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Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Ancient Celsus Library
The ruins of the ancient Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey
Things to do in
Ephesus
From 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
The UNESCO World Heritage ruins of Ephesus impress even those familiar with the world's other ancient cities. Though excavations have been underway for 150 years, only 20 percent of the city has been uncovered. Check out the the Celsus Library — built in 117 A.D., the site is made up of towering columns highlighted by the statue of the goddess of wisdom. Cruises to Ephesus will give you a taste of Turkish life by strolling the seafront promenade and the bustling city center. Walk Marble Street, paved with actual marble slabs, which takes you from downtown to the Temple of Artemis — you can still see one lone remaining column from this wonder of the ancient world.
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Library of Celsus
A close up view of the Library of Celsus in Ephesus, Turkey

Window Into Ancient Life

Don't miss the Library of Celsus or the Scholastica Baths — their dozen ancient marble toilets are a unique sight from antiquity. Consider buying the extra ticket to see Ephesus' Terraced Houses. Not only are they shaded, but you get a sense of what ancient life was like and can see the restoration work in progress.
Insider tip
Ephesus' excavated section is in a 1.5-square-mile area; you'll need good walking shoes.
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Home of the Virgin Mary
The home of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Turkey

Set Your Sights on Selcuk

Walk from Ephesus' Lower Gate to the village of Selcuk, where you can visit what's said to be the burial site of John the Apostle at the Basilica of St. John. You'll also find the remains of the Temple of Artemis. About five miles from here lies the House of the Virgin Mary, which traditions holds as the last place she lived.
Insider tip
The sun reflects strongly both from above and off the white marble streets. Bring a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water.
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Homemade Carpets
Homemade carpets on a cart

Haggle for a Turkish Carpet

Stroll the seaside promenade in Kusadasi to catch a cooling breeze. Shop for souvenirs like carpets and spices in the bazaar near the port. Vendors will encourage you to sample their wares and will offer tea to serious carpet buyers. You can also visit Pigeon Island for views from the Byzantine castle once used by pirates during your Turkey cruise.
Insider tip
When negotiating in the market, make sure you're serious about buying — it's considered rude to bargain for items you're not going to buy.
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Lamb Kebob
Two lamb kebobs on a black plate

Local Cuisine

Most visitors will have tried sis kebab (grilled meat on a skewer) and doner kebab (meat shaved from a vertical skewer) before arriving in Turkey. Lamb is popular for both. Be sure to try kofte, spiced lamb or beef meatballs served with yogurt dipping sauce. Have a few meze (appetizers) to get your vegetable fix — great options include grilled eggplant salad and cicek dolmasi, fried squash flowers stuffed with raisins and rice.
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Colorful Pottery
An assortment of colorful pottery in Turkey

Shopping

The Kusadasi bazaar is naturally the place to go for shopping. A Turkish blue eye, meant to ward off the evil eye, makes a great souvenir. Also consider a traditional Turkish kilim (a woven carpet) or a more luxurious knotted carpet. Cruise to Ephesus and look for handmade tiles and pottery in the Iznik design, with floral-inspired geometric patterns. Prices are negotiable, and the first offer by the vendor will be at least double what you should pay.

Day 10: Athens, Greece

Day 10
Athens
Piraeus, Greece
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Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Acropolis and Pathenon
View of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
Things to do in
Athens
From 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Athens offers a looking glass back in time into Greece's powerful ancient civilization. Art lovers, epicureans and history buffs will be delighted by the ancient ruins, museums and tavernas of this picturesque town. Just 10 minutes from the port, you'll find the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus, filled with sculptures from the Bronze Age to the Romans. Walk to the Zea Harbour to discover how the Hellenic Maritime Museum will bring to life the grandeur of ancient Greece's naval capacities. Jump onboard an Athens cruise and relax at the small harbor of Mikrolimano, enjoying a meal of grilled octopus and chilled white wine at a small restaurant overlooking the sea.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Agia Triada Church
The Agia Triada church in Greece

Take Me to Church

The Agia Triada is one of the finest examples of Byzantine-style churches in Greece. The Church of St. Nicholas, which overlooks the port, has a magnificent interior filled with orthodox icons, frescoes and sculptures.
Insider tip
The yellow trolley bus (number 20) will take you from the port to Passalimani, going through Castella and ending at the Metro station.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Mikrolimano Harbour
Mikrolimano harbour in Greece

Mediterranean Romance

Part of the Castella district, Mikrolimano is the smallest and most picturesque port of Athens, making it perfect for a romantic afternoon. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade to take in the amazing views, then settle in a cafe or taverna for some fresh seafood or a refreshing drink with your cruise to Athens.
Insider tip
Traffic can be chaotic, so be cautious at all times.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece. Decorative Vases
Various decorative Greek vases

Boats and the Bronze Age

The Naval Museum has exhibits that present ship building from ancient times to the present day. You will be fascinated by the Neosoikoi, the archaeological remains of the ship sheds where local craftsmen maintained and repaired the boats. Art lovers will have plenty to see at the Piraeus Archaeological Museum, from Bronze Age sculptures to classical Hellenistic pottery.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Grilled Octopus
Grilled octopus on a white plate with a lemon on the side

Local Cuisine

Try the local dishes prepared with sun-ripened tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers and fresh seafood like mussels and grilled octopus. Look for trovolia, a typical fresh cheese to savor with marinated olives. Ask for recommendations on local wines — the most common white is lively, floral and aromatic Moschofilero, while the red of choice is Xinomavro, an indigenous grape with a bold, complex flavor.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Greek Souvenirs
An assortment of Greek souvenirs such as helmets and sculptures

Shopping

You may want to bring back home some of the typical liquors such as the anise-flavored Ouzo or the strong Tsipouro. Greek olives, spices and capers can be vacuumed-packed, making for convenient souvenirs. Look for locally made leather sandals, pottery and hand-painted ceramics. You'll find most shops in the Psyri district, not far from the Acropolis during your Athens cruise.

Day 11: Cruising

Day 11
Cruising
At Sea
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Shrimp Wonton Soup - Izumi Restaurant
Shrimp Wonton Soup served at Izumi, fine dining Japanese Restaurant. One of Royal Caribbean's best cruise dining restaurants.
FOR FOODIES
Tuna Wasabi Carpaccio Izumi
Tuna Wasabi Carpaccio served at Izumi, fine dining Japanese Restaurant. One of Royal Caribbean's best cruise dining restaurants.

Izumi

Say “Konnichiwa” to a reimagined favorite. Sushi, sashimi and more, all made-to-order with intense flavors, the best ingredients and impeccable presentation.
Grilled NY-Strip Steak -  Chops Grille
12 oz Grilled NY-Strip Steak served at the fine dining steakhouse, Chops Grille. One of the best cruise line restaurants.

Chops Grille℠

For more than a decade, the chefs at Chops Grille have specialized in serving up quality, hand-cut meat. Dinner at this hallmark Royal Caribbean specialty restaurant goes far beyond the typical steakhouse experience, though, with reimagined classics like succulent Maine lobster, gruyere cheese tater tots, white truffle-scented mushroom soup, and of course, expertly prepared prime beef.

Day 12: Naples / Capri, Italy

Day 12
Naples / Capri
Italy
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Naples - Capri, Italy, Aerial View
An aerial view of Capri
Things to do in
Naples / Capri
From 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
With a skyline defined by towering Mount Vesuvis, Naples is a bustling Italian city brimming with beauty. Experience its rich neoclassical architecture at sites like Gesu Nuovo Church, with its lavish interior adorned with detailed frescoes, statues and gold inlay. Go even deeper into history at the San Gennaro catacombs, where Naples' first bishops were buried in the second century A.D. Walk along the Miglio Sacro ("Holy Mile") and people-watch your way through the cafes and shops of the Sanita district with a zuccherato (sweetened espresso) in hand. Jump onboard a Naples cruise and take the short bus ride to the base of Mount Vesuvius — it's an easy 20- to 30-minute hike will take you to the summit — and tour the ruins of Pompeii afterward.
Naples - Capri, Italy, Catacombs of San Gennaro
The Catacombs of San Gennaro in Italy

Go Underground

Interested in getting up close and personal with Naples' past residents? Head underground to visit the Catacombs of San Gennaro. These historic burial places are the oldest in the city and the largest in all of Southern Italy. Spend some time wandering around the different rooms to see how the rooms where the wealthy and poor were buried.
Insider tip
You won't be able to visit the Catacombs of San Gennaro without a guided tour, so be sure to book yours well in advanced.
Naples - Capri, Italy, Gesu Nuovo interior
The interior of the Gesu Nuovo in Italy

Church Bells Ring

Naples' churches are a great way to tour its architectural treasures, and most of them are concentrated in the old town center. Check out San Domenico Maggiore, with its impressive gold-gilded ceiling and interior. Inside Sansevero Chapel, you'll find a number of impressive Baroque statues and classical art. And don't miss the beautiful frescoes and peaceful vibe of Gesu Nuovo Church during your Capri cruise.
Insider tip
Wear comfortable shoes; you'll be doing a lot of walking over cobblestones while in the city.
Naples - Capri, Italy, Margherita pizza
A margherita pizza in Naples, Italy

Local Cuisine

Neopolitan-style pizza is Naples culinary gem. Grab a seat at L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele, which has been serving up pizza since 1870, and order a slice of simple, classic margherita, topped with fresh basil, tomato sauce and local mozzarella di fiore. Cruise to Naples and head to Friggitoria Vomero for the town's best arancini — gooey, fried spheres of rice and cheese — or panzarotti, a mini-calzone stuffed with mozzarella, tomato and other ingredients like spinach or ham.
Naples - Capri, Italy, Traditional pots
Traditional pots at a shop in Italy

Shopping

Head to Via Toledo, the longest shopping street in Naples, which offers small boutiques and a huge department store. Continue down the road to Galleria Umberto I, a beautiful shopping gallery for some high-end souvenirs such as silk scarves and leather shoes to take back home.

Day 13: Rome, Italy

Day 13
Rome
Civitavecchia, Italy
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Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Roman Forum
The Roman Forum in Rome, Italy
Things to do in
Rome
Arrives at 5:00 AM
With 28 centuries of celebrated history, Rome holds the edge when it comes to unrivaled adventures. The city that sparked the world’s largest empire is very much alive today with a jumble of ancient ruins, world-renowned art and vivacious street culture. Here you can live la dolce vita, recalling the glory days of Ancient Rome and twirling forks full of pasta in a trattoria. Ride past centuries-old basilicas in a three-wheeled Ape Calessino, or stand in awe of paintings by Italian masters at Villa Borghese. Whether it’s Vatican City’s spiritual allure, Trastevere’s backstreet charms, or the Colosseum’s embattled legacy— The Eternal City endures with endless adventures.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Pantheon
The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

ANCIENT AND AMAZING

Walk through the heart of Ancient Rome. Start at the Colosseum, an enormous arena where gladiators once battled. Then meander around the Roman Forum’s timeworn ruins, past crumbling temples and basilicas. See where emperors lived on Palatine Hill— and enjoy an up-close view of the 2,000-year-old, well-preserved Pantheon church.
Insider tip
Conservative attire (no tank tops or shorts) is required when visiting Rome’s religious sites.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Piazza Navona
A fountain in Piazza Navona in Italy

ADVENTURE SQUARED

Roam around Rome’s piazzas, as each offers a unique perspective. Dine al fresco in Piazza Navona and climb The Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna. Wander cobbled alleys in bustling Trastevere and browse Campo de’ Fiori’s artisan stalls. Be sure to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain for good measure.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, Statues
Statues in the Vatican Museum

SACRED SPACES

Explore the Vatican Museums’ extraordinary collection of tapestries and classical statues. Step inside the Sistine Chapel and be awed by Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes. Then enter St. Peter’s Basilica, one of the world’s largest churches, to stand under its enormous sky-piercing dome.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, Pizza and pasta
Pizza, pasta, and antipasta on a table in Rome

LOCAL CUISINE

Romans live to eat, whether it’s family-style or in a sidewalk café. For an authentic taste of Cucina Romana, try carciofi alla Romana (braised artichokes) or spaghetti alla carbonara. Enjoy panino (stuffed sandwiches) or thin-crusted Roman pizza. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a scoop of gelato. Then finish the night with a glass of white wine from the surrounding Lazio region.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, Colosseum Vatican Models
Minitature models of the Colosseum and Vatican

SHOPPING

Street stalls throughout the city are your best bet for souvenirs. Via Condotti offers a string of couture Italian designers. Browse artist studios along Via Margutta, or the indie artisan retailers of the Monti neighborhood. Porta Portese is the city’s largest flea market— and La Rinascente, the first department store.

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