To celebrate our 40th anniversary, my wife and I Took our first cruise ever, on the Seabourn Quest, a new ship, 7 days, Rome to Venice. We flew into Rome (FCO), then took a train to Tarquinia, Italy; a small town near the port city of Civitavechia. We stayed in Tarquinia for 3 nights (we had already been to Rome and we wanted to stay in a small town to avoid crowds and congestion). We enjoyed Tarquinia and it was a short 15-minute train ride to the port.
We expected the cruise to be a good experience, since we had heard good things about Seabourn. Also, we wanted a small ship cruise with everything included and no tipping required. Since this was our first cruise, we had nothing to compare it with, but it was perfect in every respect. We had a hint of things to come on the first day. The boarding process was efficient and took just 5 minutes. The suite was spacious and luxurious with a balcony. Champagne and fresh fruit were waiting. We had requested the bar in our suite to be stocked with Ketel One vodka. Our stewardess left a note apologizing for having to substitute Grey Goose Vodka instead of Ketel One. Are you kidding? Grey Goose was an upgrade! We felt like we were in dreamland. Every member of the crew smiled, was friendly, efficient, and asked how they could help make our cruise enjoyable.
Dining was enjoyable. Breakfast was either room service on days when we had morning excursions, or in the Collonade, where a fabulous buffet was served. Lunches were usually in the ports, but we did have one lunch at the Pool Grill, and one memorable lunch in the main restaunt that was a buffet in the galley, a highlight of the cruise! Dinners were in the main restaurant or the Collonade, with one memorable special anniversary dinner in Restaurant #2. Room service wasc always delivered in 5 minutes (or so it seemed). Caviar and cheeses and crackers delivered befiore dinner. We never had a bad meal.
Ports visited were Naples, Messina, Corfu, Dubrovnik and Zadar. Our favorites were Dubrovnik and Zadar, in Croatia. Excursions taken were Pompeii (Naples), Mt. Vesuvius (Messina) and a cable car ride (Dubrovnik). The weather was fabulous, mid-70's, sunny with calm seas. The weather turned bad as we disembarked in Venice, but the cruise was over by then.
Several passengers told us that, for our first cruise, we were starting at the top with the Seabourn Quest, and we certainly believe that. Problem is, we are now spoiled!