This was our sixth cruise, but the first one on a "6" star ship, and the first on a small ship. Our initial exuberance was immediately impacted by the embarkation process in HK - basically you have to drag your bags through a shopping mall, very poor signage and little assistance. The disembarkation in Singapore by contrast was excellent.
Our first impressions of the cabin were good until we saw that the desk chair was ripped and needed to be replaced immediately, which happened, but its replacement was also in poor condition.
The rest of the ship is dated and bland - there is no wow factor on this ship that you might find on newer vessels. The outdoor furniture was worn, the pool towels were brown, and even though there was plenty of space for more loungers, there were non available once the existing ones were taken, even though there was plenty of space. And bizarrely, what I expected to be teak decks looking over the pool, were covered in green artificial turf which retained the water from overnight rain and so anything you put on the ground was immediately wet. For a 6 star ship this was a disappointment.
The general level of food was inconsistent. First night was a shocker - I ordered a Laksa from the menu in the main dining room, which, being in Asia I thought would be terrific. I was served a warm broth with rice which had no resemblance to the dish I had ordered. The food in the Italian restaurant was promoted as being the only slow food Italian on the sea. We saw no evidence of any slow food - and when I ordered the Veal ragu I got minced Veal.
The level of service, which I imagined would be a quality "European" feel, being an Italian ship, was provided entirely by Filipino and Indian staff, who were not well trained or well dressed. In fact their did not seem to be a spirit on board where the crew were all helping each other and having a bit of fun, which we have seen on other ships.
The quality of the wine however was surprisingly good, and we did not need to order from the premium wine list.
The entertainment in the bars was very poor - everything dumbed down, with no real interest by the entertainers. The Theatre entertainment was limited to the same six people singing, of whom three seemed to have good voices. Not comparable to other ships we have been on.
All in all we could not see where the value was , the service was probably worse than we have had on other ships, the food was average - the bakery and desserts particularly poor.
The highlights were our butler and maid who were excellent and provided great service.
This line needs a wake up call - looks like they are living in the past and there is far better quality and value elsewhere.