I was attracted to this cruise by the range of excursions offered but I was concerned by some of the negative reviews. I need not have worried. The ship is certainly a little elderly, like most of her passengers, but, like them, she has aged gracefully and a little creaking here and there is to be expected.
The range of included excursions was the best I have ever encountered in many years of cruising and all the different experiences will live in my memory. Others have praised the private visit to San Marco and it was wonderful to see the mosaics in the light of the setting sun and then beautifully illuminated, as they must have looked by candlelight. In the small ports of Croatia we experienced the Med that we had read about in old novels when you could smell the pines, hear the waves and enjoy the company of new friends in quiet bars. On an optional excursion we visited a palazzo in Palermo, and, although this was my third visit to Sicily I felt that I was seeing the city for the first time.
I was lucky enough to take all bar two of my meals outside in the sunshine and the staff coped admirably with my gluten-free diet. There was an excellent programme of lectures to prepare us for the sights and I particularly enjoyed those of Gillian Hovell. When disembarking I felt very envious of those who were remaining on board for the next cruise.
I was very impressed by some of the details, such as being welcomed back to the ship with cold towels and iced drinks. The staff always checked to see that each meal was good and the captain seemed to posses the ability to be everywhere at once. I would love to cruise on this ship again.