We sailed on the Flavours of Italy cruise on 25 October. The boarding was qucik and simple and contary to another report we were able to use our boarding card immediatley and enjoyed a much needed beer after being shown to our cabin. We had never cruised before and were very excited, the ship although dwarfed by the much larger ones in port was big enough to still get lost on even after a week. The staff were excellent from the waiters in the restaurant, the cabin stewards, waiters and everyone else. They work extremly hard and are only too happy to help. Would we cruise again yes but not as a main holida, not quite my type of holiday, I prefer lounging on a sunbed as other reviews state this is not possible. Beds are reserved all day with no one coming back to them and no one policing this. We stayed on board when the ship docked in Malta got two excellent beds but left them to go for lunch. When we returned we had to look for two more although not as good as the first they were ok. What happened then, someone came and put their bed directly at the foot of mine so that I could not lay full lenghth and also meant that I was now in the gangway. Despite waiters and staff having to step over they never asked the person in front to move!!!
All though the food was excellent, the cabin accomadation is basic pretty much like being in a caravan. So when everyone had advised us that cruising was luxurious and we wouldn't go back to hotel holidaying I have to say this is not the case for us. I know you only sleep in your accomadation but a luxurious room adds to your holiday enjoyment. We had a cabin on the deck below the sun deck which was very noisy when they had the party nights. There does not appear to be any sound proofing. The staff in the Seven Seas Restaurant and the Royal Observatory bar deserve a special mention as they were excellent. Nothing was too much trouble for them.