We flew from Manchester using Monarch Airline - the same airline used by RCI but much cheaper because we booked flights and cruise separately. Good flight. We got a taxi to cruise terminal ( cost 35 euro). Check in was very rapid and within an Hour of landing at the airport we were on the ship. The ship is immaculate and after lunch in the Windjammer we went to check out our balcony cabin which we were very happy with.Much to our surprise our luggage was delivered about 2pm.
Food - we ate in main dining room and windjammer. Service was very good and food OK but not outstanding.
Ports - Cannes is tendered but despite announcements saying this would be be very busy until 11 all the queues were gone by 10.30. We explored the old town of Cannes which was really pretty.
Livorno - We used RCI's "explore Florence on your own". This was fine and we had about 6 hours free time in Florence. We had pre booked tickets to the Accademia and also wanted to visit Sante Croce. The tour guide recommended a restaurant which was fine but packed with cruise passengers so clearly on others recommendation lists!!
Civetevecchia - as we've been to Rome a few times we decided to get the 9 am bus to Tarquinia. We found the bus stop easily but didn't see the place to buy tickets. The bus driver let us on the bus and at the next stop sold us tickets for 7 euro each. Tarquinia is a lovely hill top town with an excellent tourist information centre and we soon acquired a bus timetable for the return journey along with information on where to buy the return tickets which cost only 2 euro each! Tarquinia seems to have a free bus service around the town although we didn't use it. We walked to the necropolis which took about 20 mins mainly through shady streets.
Shows - we went to 4 and though the ice show and Viva Voce were the best.
There were only a couple of things we didn't like. Firstly our waiter virtually begged us and the people sitting around us to give him an excellent score on the feedback form as this would apparently enable him to earn more money. We would have given this score anyway because he was very pleasant, efficient and helpful.
Secondly on the morning of departure we went to the departure lounge in the < Michelangelo restaurant on deck 4 for repeat RCI customers where they were serving drinks and pastries. As there was no milk I asked one of the waiting staff for some. He flatly refused and told me to get my own from the dining room downstairs.I went downstairs and spoke with a passing head waiter who said he would send some milk up. 30 mins later this still hadn't arrived. I appreciate this is petty but it did feel as if they weren't bothered anymore as we were leaving the ship.