Our party of four left Heathrow at 06.45 bound for Rome airport aboard Alitalia as part of RCI's all inclusive price. At that time in the morning we were expecting to receive a moderate breakfast but no, we only got half a cup of coffee and a small packet of biscuits. Not off to a very good start.
The clearance from Rome airport to the ship was very efficient and after collecting our cases they were left with RCI and the next we saw was their arrival in our cabin. Boarding was carried out in a very efficient and speedy manner. After taking lunch we went to our cabins to await our luggage.
The first impression on the corridors was not particularly good as the carpets looked very jaded and in places had big stains. The cabin (outside front on deck 6) was quite large with plenty of hanging space. What did disappoint was the lack of toiletries in the cabin. We have been used to having creams, conditioners, liquid bath gel etc.( through Princess), but all we got was Shampoo and bars of soap! To say the least, not what we expected.
A big let down was the inability of the Customer Service Area to change the credit card I originally declared to that of my Global Currency Card which is prefunded, I therefore had to endure their bad exchange rate when I paid cash. However, saying that, the customer service area went out of their way to try and retrieve my Kindle E-reader that I left on the outbound flight. Due to the excessive amount that Alitalia wanted to charge me for the return of the device - 157 euro's - as it was cheaper to buy a new one I decided to leave Alitalia with the device.
The shows were good except for the girl with the 'scared hair look'. Her singing left a lot to be desired. The Ice Show was very good and we feel there should be at least two on a seven day cruise.
The main dining rooms were good as was the buffet area we used for breakfast and lunch. There was a very good selection and nobody should have gone hungry. The only drawback about the buffet area was the inability to accommodate everybody at peak times, such as disembarking for Athens.
The 24 hour coffee available on deck 5 was a godsend for me as I do like my early morning coffee. I appreciate cabin service could have delivered but it was nice to have a walk around the deck at that time of day.
Did we enjoy the cruise, yes. Would we use RCI again, maybe. We would certainly not use Alitalia again. Their return flight which was at 13.20 (lunch time) only had the ubiquitous half cup of coffee and a small pack of biscuits.