We set off from Barcelona on Friday 3rd August, of course I like Barcelona I live here so no problems for me. We boarded about 11.30 12.00, no problems maybe we waited ten minutes.
We went straight to the top deck to have a look around and have a couple of beers and just chill out.
We waited until the call came saying the rooms were ready and then we went to have a look at our cabins.. Our impression was good but the balcony was a bit smaller than our other two cruises but for the two of us it was big enough.
First impressions of the boat were good, nothing negative there was plenty of room to move around the boat.
The first two days were at sea days so it was time to relax. Of course it wasn't easy to get a lounger but I expected that problem.
I made use of the gym, going to some spinning classes too, normally even if the gym was full you didn't have to wait long to get a machine.
We were on select dinning and we were very happy with the meals, we didn't try the other Specialty Dining restaurants.
I thought the main restaurant was good and the staff worked very hard but maybe the place was a little "cold" because of the decor but everyone has different tastes.
We tried breakfast there one morning but we weren't impressed, too slow.
We had breakfast in the cabin a couple of times, no problems and the Oceanview Cafe was good, we ate twice there in the evening for a change.
The people we met were great, without a doubt they helped to make the cruise a fun time.
Now the ports of call.
Dubrovnik, very hot and a lot of people, try to get there early to avoid the queues and the crowds, a small tip there is less of a wait to walk the walls if you go in the entrance near the port. We also took a taxi for a private tour which cost us 50 Euro, try to find someone to share the cost, the driver was very good and he explained some history of the town. We didn't eat there we just had a beer, most places would take Euros or Dollars.
Venice, we arrived early afternoon great views while the ship is going through Venice. We went into Venice with the ships shuttle, we went after 5 so it wasn't as hot and fewer people, we stayed for a few hours, a beautiful place but very very expensive. The following day we went back again and took in a museum and walked the streets, very crowed and hot. Try to go early to avoid the crowds and the heat.
Split was next and a nice surprise when we got off the boat we took the tour bus (about 20 Euro) it took us around Split which isn't very big and that lasted about 45 minutes and then we had a guide to walk us through the ruins which was very good, we enjoyed it there, not too many people. Some people went to the beach, there are a couple of beaches within walking distance.
Naples; here we did a private tour with APT tours, it was very good we went to Herculeum, Positano and Sorrento the guide was very good and I would have no problems working with this company again. A couple of negative points traffic but no one can control that and we were unable to catch the ferry back so that meant we had only a short time in Sorrento. We all had lunch there and maybe that was a mistake because we could have just bought a sandwich and saw more of Sorrento but no one was to blame for that it was our choice.
Civtaveccia (Rome). We took the express train to Rome, it is run by smartcruisetours.com. No problems, the train station is about a ten minute walk from the shuttle drop off. In Rome we took an open tour bus run by the same company. We had lunch near the Spanish steps The Restaurant is called Life Via della Vite 28 a good restaurant.
Livorno (Florence) here we just stayed on ship, we were very tired after Rome and we had already visited Florence before, it was good just to relax and of course the boat was very quiet.
Toulon (France) here we had another tour booked this time with http://www.ssk.fr. Very good, not stressful like in Italy, we only did 6 hours because I felt this would be enough for the last day.This is what we did Aix en provence. Marseille Lunch to the Cassis. Here we didn't have a guide but the drivers were very helpful and explained things as we were in the van.