This titillating riposte deals in facts not supposition or innuendos. We are a Canuck couple in our mid sixties. As I tend to ramble most information will be in point form.
We sailed on the Sept. 6 Venice to Barcelona route.
Temperatures averaged 25C or mid 80 F on this port intensive trip.
We were able to bring on a regional bottle of wine each at every port. They averaged 5 euros. No problem with the scanner staff.
The only tour I would advise intrepid explorers to fastidiously avoid is the City Tour of Messina. Driving through garbage littered streets lined with crumbling apartment blocks resembling the projects or council housing was a bust. We visited the same Cathedral TWICE??!! in a 3.5 hour snoozefest. The Cathedral was 300 yds from the docked ship!!
There is a wine store and an internet cafe 50 yds from the pier in Messina.
Free WIFI in the port terminal building in steamy Athens.
Mistral winds blowing 35 to 45 Knots and 10 ft waves caused us to be 2 hours late docking in Marseilles. All tours went off without a hitch.
As food is a personal experience I will only say there was a wide variety and we did not leave the ship any lighter than when we got on.
Ship features we noticed:
Floor mats in elevators denoting the day of the week would be nice
Promenade deck does not go all the way around.
Walking track on deck eleven ...10 laps= 1 mile
There is a small pocketbook exchange in the library Bar. Hardcover book can be checked out for the cruise.
Kiosks around the ship can print out your room acct. They exchange money too.
Balconies and Serenity area have glass panels to look over the side of ship. Deck ten has 18 " of steel starting at the deck to look over the side.
Serenity area was free but on sea days (there were two) the chair police were tagging chaise loungers with a towel on it and no body. You were allowed 40 min. then items were taken to the towel shack.
Light in the edge of the odd sized stairs in the Limelight Lounge were too bright causing people to stumble or trip. Use of hand rails was a must in that venue.
The four lively floor shows put on by the 8 singer/dancers are backed up by an amazing jumbotron screen that provides great visuals. Their well attended shows were Epic Rock, Latin Nights, Disco and Motown.
Spa services have a 15% gratuity built in .
Those intrepid souls exiting on a Carnival excursion meet in the Limelight Lounge 30 min. prior to their tour start time. Exiting the ship can be slow based on how many signed up that day.
Ocean Suite on deck 7 features:
Two closets that could hold both of our empty suitcases. When opened a light came on. Over 20 hangers between them.
Seven large drawers
Single sink with a shower in the Jacuzzi tub.
No make up mirror but there is a hair dryer. Kleenex was provided.
A well lit separate sitting area to apply make up.
Three chairs and a small table on a narrow balcony.
Two goose neck reading lamps on the head board of a comfortable king bed.
Safe and stocked mini fridge supplied.
Breakfast via room service was continental. A few hot items would be nicer.
We enjoyed the Carnival experience in the Med. The average age was 55. I'm sure it would be an entirely different demographic in the Caribbean.
Some off the ship pointers for North Americans travelling to Europe for the first time:
No facecloths or kleenex in 3 star hotels
Your passport will be photocopied upon check in at the hotel
Room keys should be surrendered to front desk as you go out for the day. I was a bad boy...I forgot often!
Hope you enjoyed my points to ponder, happy sailing