My husband and I sailed on May 18th out of Venice. It was my husband's first cruise and my second. Overall, we had a great time. Embarkation was straight forward (we took the people mover from Piazza Roma directly to the cruise terminal stop for a 1 euro)and we arrived in time for lunch on the first day. We brought two large water bottles and two bottles of wine and both went through completely fine.
We did not purchase any of the drink packages (I remember spending a lot of time researching this), which I was glad we didn't. Each morning orange and apple juice are provided along with Seattle's Best coffee (excellent coffee!), an assortment of tea, filtered water, and hot chocolate. Lunch and dinner there would be lemonade and fruit juice. My husband had a beer or two a day (around $6 - $8 per beer and he would typically get Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada). Overall the food was great. I enjoyed the Windjammer for lunch and breakfast. We did assigned seating at the King & I and found it to be fun sitting with people and listening to everyone's adventures during the day. You could tell RCI tried to match the dinning table according with your age group (mid 20's - early 30's), which was appreciated. We met a few other younger couples on the ship (we felt the average age was around 50 or so).
The service was fantastic. We had terrific waiters (Cesear and Ibrihim) and a fantastic, cheerful stateroom attendant (Lucee).
Evening entertainment was a little hit and miss with our age group. The pub trivia, Love & Marriage, and listening to Jonathan Ansell from the English band G4 were my favorite evening activities.
Disembarkation went smooth. We were assigned an 8:30am departure time (you could leave earlier if needed). Not all of our luggage arrived when we got off the ship, but after waiting for 5-10 minutes it arrived and we took the people mover back to Piazza Roma (we got there around 11:00am). We stayed an extra night in Venice after the cruise and wished we would have booked our flight on the day of disembarkation. We had spent 3 nights in Venice prior to the cruise (love the city - it's so romantic and unique) but felt the last night was not really needed as the hotel next to the airport (Hotel Park Annia) was expensive ($250/night) plus we felt 3 nights prior was the perfect amount of time.
We loved the ports of call (all except for Argostoli) and like that RCI's primary language to speak announcements is in English. Our favorite stops were Santorini, Dubrovnik and Athens. We ended up purchasing the cruise coach bus transportation to Corfu and Dubrovnik for $14/person round trip. In hindsight, we could have saved money there had we been more adventurous (FYI - Dubrovnik you can take bus #1,#1a, or #1b to the city center and Corfu the city bus is #16). Note the ship does not have any croatian kunas to exchange, so you need to do this in Dubrovnik.
All in all, I would recommend this cruise to everyone 18+ (we didn't see very many kids on the ship).
I had been to Athens before, however it was new for my husband. We took the super cheap metro into the city center (note, it is about 15-20 minutes of a walk from the port, but worth it). We only paid 4 euros for an unlimited day pass. We got to the Acropolis at 9:00am and walked through the ruins. After that, we were pretty tired so luckily we saw a segway tour. We ended up taking an hour and a half tour to the National Gardens, Temple of Zeus, Parliament building, and the old Olympic stadium. We loved the segway tour! I was also able to talk them down to 30 euros a person (plus the office had free wifi and gave us bottled water after the tour). I absolutely recommend the segway tour once seeing the Acropolis. We took the metro back to the port around 2:00pm (we docked at 7:00am).
After Athens our last port of call was Argostoli (not even listed on cruise critic). It was cloudy so we did not purchase an excursion (this was the only port we likely would have purchased an excursion). We just got off the ship and walked around and ate lunch. Not really much to see in Argostoli unless you leave Argostoli.
We took RCI transportation into the city center and walked around. We also toured the old fort for a couple euros and walked around the outside of the new fort.
Must walk inside the city center and up on the city walls.
Our favorite port! We took the cable cars up (4 euros per person, per way) and walked around in Fira until we found the bus station. We took a bus (only 1.60 euros per person per way) from Fira to Oia. Simply board the bus and pay when you are on the bus (they do give change). The bus ride takes around a half hour. Oia was breath taking. Loved the little shops and the views were amazing. We took the bus back to Fira and then walked down the flights of stairs to get back to the ship (be careful - my husband slipped and broke a shot glass because the stairs are slippery).