12 day cruise from Venice to Barcelona. Embarcation in Venice quick and easy. We were on board before the stated time of embarcation. Within the hour our luggage was delivered. Room very spacious with tons of storage (didnt use all of it there was so much). As in any voyage nothing is perfect but when 99% of the trip is faultless, you can consider yourself blessed.
Dining: we dine mainly in the MDR, Pinnacle or other venues but avoid the Lido as we find it crowded. Ate there once because of evening activity and it was a good reminder of why we avoid it. There seem to be fewer waiters and when you're 2 and want to keep a table reserved you have to line up one at a time which is frustrating. Otherwise you have to remember to bring an object of no value to leave o. The table while you line up. All,ither venues are exceptional Good food, served efficiently and lots of variety. Their soups are outstanding.
Entertainment: Its OK but not exceptional. Some variety with signers, comedian, guitar player who was really good. Cooking demonstrations, computer classes (somewhat basic but I did learn a few things), wine tasting. Excellent library, DVD selection.
Excursions: as stated in many reviewe, ship booked excursions are expensive but in the end what you're paying for is the insurance that you will not be left behind if you're late getting back as was the case with our Rome excursion. What I suggest is that you carefully read excursion reviews and book on the basis of what it offers. In small ports you can probably do your own thing but its a big risk in a big city.also our Rome day was a complete disaster. 1.5 hour drive in took 2.5 hours. Then long wait at the Trevi fountain because only one bus is allowed to disembark passengers at a time and there were several buses ahead of us. St Peters Basilica was fine and our tour guide was OK but our visit to the 'colosseum was rushed. All in all our 10 1/2 excursion was 5 hours in the bus. Not good value at close to $200 per person. We have suggested to HAL that they find better transport strategy for 'rome as the trafic is bad and will only get worse. The Rome excursion needs to be entirely revised as in it's present format is mich too expensive for what it offers.
Our stateroom attendant Suby was superb as was Kim or Pinnacle dining room steward.