We booked this,our first cruise with the travel agent for 30 June 2012. We had four in our party which included a 16 year old. We arrived by plane at Malaga and were taken to the ship. No problems embarking and were shown to the windjammer buffet restaurant while awaiting our rooms. The Ship was amazing although it needed and update to some areas of carpet ect. I`m not complaining
as the ship is 10 years old now.
We has state rooms with no balcony and found them an adequate size and well decorated,although bathroom area was small,but this is a ship.
The food was brilliant,from the buffet eating areas to the restaurants for dining. There is always somewhere open where you can get food, coffee,tea,water and lemonade squash which we found OK.
Staff were friendly, efficient and help to the extent for us it was over the top but others would have loved it.
The ICE SHOW was great but some the others varied from very good to bad. activaties were OK but we found it was not suited to a 16year old as most of the guests were spanish and communication was difficult with other youngsters.
Alcohol and Fizzy drinks are expensive on board,but you can get an unlimited package for youngsters if they dont like the lemonade squash supplied free.
Our first port of call was Valencia which like all the other ports (except Corsica) are cargo ports where you you are not allowed to walk through. The ship provides transport at a cost but Civitavecchia for Rome was free) We paid for the excursion to see Valencia at 38 Dollars. This was well worth it as we had no idea where to go or what to see.It was a nice tour but that's about it.
Next we had a sea day travelling to Civitavecchia for Rome. We found things to do like the gym,jacuzzi and crazy golf ect, but as I don't like being restricted even though the ship is massive I did not like being on there all day.( yes I know it is a cruise ship!!!)
Next stop Civitavecchia for Rome. We made plenty of plans having never being there before and paid for the shuttle bus and caught the train some 40 miles to Rome. There is lots to do and see,so much that it was exhausting and we never got around to it all before we had to make our way back before the ship sailed. ( you just can`t do Rome in a day )
Next it was Livorno where you can visit Pisa or Florence. we paid for the shuttle which took us to the centre and the driver directed us to the information centre as we wanted to catch a bus to see the leaning Tower of Pisa. The information centre told us they sold the bus tickets and we bought 4 for 60 Euros at 10.00am to return at 1PM. When we got there it was mega busy and we had to book to go up the tower at 12.45, so we missed our coach back
and had to pay again to get back to Livorno, which was 12 miles away. We and other felt as if we were cheated as the information centre did not tell us about the public bus station around the corner which cost 2.75 euros one way and there was no time limit to return. Do not book with the information centre as they act as agents for the same company who do the shuttle service for the ship.
The ship also do an excursion to Pisa and Florence. It is expensive and I`m not sure if you can go up the tower,But other who booked it said it was brilliant. We thought with Pisa being 12 miles one way and Florence being 79 miles the other way it would be to much to do but it appears we were wrong as those on the trip had a less stressful day than we did.
Next it was Corsica and the ship docks right at the port and you just walk off. It was fantastic but we only stayed until 3.30pm, which is to little time to see much.
When you first arrive on board you get your photo taken and issued a sea pass,which acts like a credit card until you settle up at the end. Be very careful as the costs of alcohol can soon mount up. They TV system in your room is amazing as you can find out whats on and review your sea pass account. We checked ours one day and found items on it purchased we were off ship, so be sure to check and keep receipts. Many guests had problems with their accounts and the arguments at the service desk on the last day will stay in mind for years.