This was a trip of a lifetime for my husband and myself, a European cruise. The ports are what helped me me choose this itinerary. Barcelona,Nice, France, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Amalfi coast, Pompeii, Venice (over night) and Dubrovnik. The ports could not have been better and they were enhanced by taking private tours that we had lined up ahead of time. Special shout out to the tour companies that made our trip so memorable, Okai Barcelona tours, Rome in Limo tours and Doria Ltd tours in Dubrovnik. All exceeded our expectations with service and value for our dollar. Much better and more personal that RC expeditions. We were a group of 8 people and took a Mercedes van as opposed to a cramped bus. They were able to get us close to all the places we wanted to see and our walking was at a minimum. They got us back to the cruise ship with time to spare in each port.
Fortunately, on this cruise we were using the ship as a hotel because of all the ports we were going to. We found that like the airlines RC seems to have cut corners to make cruising affordable to all. While still great, we miss the over the top service we use to get. There seems to be more and more services and optional dining options that make just dining in the main dining room less special. I have noticed since gratuities are automatically put on your on board spending package the service has gone down. First time cruisers won't have anything to compare to so if it is your first cruise you will love it. Would definitely recommend this itinerary to everyone.