In the event it doesn't really matter what our expectations really were before setting out - whatever they may have been, they were well exceeded.
A pre-embarkation night at a Budepest hotel was really useful to recover from a long air trip and the one recommended (Intercontinental) was 5-star in all respects. Embarkation from there was straightforward and the vessel itself (Vista)- the newest in the fleet - has an entirely modern and functional style with a good degree of comfort throughout. The cabin was airy with a good balcony view, excellent bathroom and surprisingly useful storage space.
Dining was a highlight with an excellent quality and variety of food - certainly expect to put on a kilo or two. Laundry service was very efficient but needed a watch on high costs - the bathroom became the norm for smalls.
Onboard entertainment was generally mediocre but with the occasional outstanding exception. Shore excursions met the charter advertised and with plenty of walking More
to offset the food intake. The range [extensive] and cost [high] of optional additional excursions was a surprise but clearly designed to satisfy all tastes. This is a balancing act between increased prices for total inclusivity and letting passengers pick & choose. The Cruise Director did his best to satisfy all wishes all of the time [clearly mission impossible]. With only minor "niggles" [don't expect 100% web coverage], this cruise rated a worthy 5 stars! Less