We got to Venice three days early- (the Bucintoro Hotel is wonderful)! You need 3 days to really see and experience Venice (and to take care of the jet lag). We took the vaparetto to the Spirit- so easy. Check in for the cruise was busy but pretty simple- give your baggage to them and it's the start of being pampered. We booked some of the tours with the ship- most of them were excellent and informative. The Izmir port excursion was a little irritating. We didn't see some of the ruins because of a leather factory fashion show. But,the other ports had great excursions- I loved Rome, crowded but beautiful. Don't be afraid to use private companies for excursions- we had some great private tours in Istanbul-which is beautiful and Athens and try the motorcycle sidecar tour in Barcelona!
The Spirit has a lot of things to do, relax on deck in the quiet zone, tan and mingle out by the pool or party in the Beer Garden. We met a lot of great people on the ship and in the Bingo matches (I was only 2 numbers away from the free trip that was given out as a prize)!
Our room was spotless, I love the balcony room! Water pressure in the shower was great- Plenty of room to put your luggage. The staff on the Spirit works so hard to take care of you and the ship- do they ever sleep? I really appreciate the Washy-washy-happy-happy staff at the entrances to the eating areas- thank you.
The food was good, you get better coffee and juices in Windows and the Garden room. Try them for breakfast and dinner- yum.
We did quick breakfasts and at sea lunches in Raffles.
We even used the laundry service, no problem there either. They came back the next day all cleaned and pressed. We did the wine club- it's a good deal. Playing Bingo with a bottle of wine on an at sea day, then go take a nap...I love vacationing!
Disembarking was a breeze- cabs were waiting- and so was Barcelona-what a vibrant city. So much to see.
We're back home now and reviewing all of our pictures- wow. Again, A dream vacation of a lifetime.