We aren't exactly cruise veterans - just a couple of Disney cruises. But for our 25th wedding anniversary I wanted to go big. So we booked Istanbul-Kusadasi-Rhodes-Limassol-Haifa-Patmos-Piraeus on Oceania Riviera. We brought our 19 year old daughter along. Simply: the ship is beautiful, the food is awesome, the service is First Class.
We had a butler: get a stateroom with a butler! Restaurants: All the table-service restaurants were great, but we especially loved Red Ginger. And the La Reserve wine pairing dinner is incomparable. Bon Appetit Culinary Classes: Highly recommended; very professional and informative; more delicious food we made ourselves. Nearly first-run movies on TV for free: saw all the Oscar nominees.
Did all but one shore excursion on our own, but did do the ship's Culinary Excursion in Rhodes: great; more food.
Didn't use the casino. Used the spa facilities (beautiful) but not any of the services. Too busy eating or too tired to see a show. Daughter met all the singers and dancers who were very nice to her. She didn't have time to get bored, with Istanbul, Haifa, and Athens on the itinerary. But it is not a party boat. After about 11 you'll have the ship to yourself.
Make sure your package includes internet service (it's slow but it works) and understand the alcohol/wine program: it's expensive whether you do the packages or a la carte.
Sign up for the reserved restaurants as soon as you can...early reservations go fast.
We have only two real complaints: The food is so good you want to eat it all, but you can't. And we are now so spoiled that any other cruise will be a let-down. I need to win the lottery.