As you are reading this now, I too eagerly logged on to Cruise Critic every few days prior to our cruise to read the newest reviews.
Let me confirm what the vast majority of people have said time and again. The ship is beautiful, the staff is wonderful, and the food is fattening, I mean, delicious.
We were in cabin 1208 at the back of the ship. The balcony was larger than some but smaller than others. Regardless, the view is always unbelievable.
To answer a good question; yes, the drink pkg is well worth the cost. When you add up the cost of each individual drinks plus the costs of sodas, water, coffee, etc.
We cruised from Venice to Barcelona with stops along the way.
At my personal request, the Captain provided us with flawless weather and calm seas. If the ship ever rocked, we sure didn't feel it.
I am sure the rest of our fellow cruisers were unknowingly appreciative of my request. All I can say is, you are welcome.
There is certainly no lack of activities or entertainment on this ship. The daily newsletter is chock full of scheduled events.
It is far from difficult to go hungry or thirsty. Just like old, magnificent churches in Europe, there is a bar around virtually every corner.
Food...well, I gained ten pounds, and I didn't really think I ate to my potential. The specialty restaurants were worth taking advantage of. Murano was my personal favorite.
The main dining room served up some very delicious entrees. I am having withdrawals from the escargot. Not unlike other reviewers, I found it odd that the chef's special one evening was pork and beans. I did not try it, but it am sure it was delicious.
We spent several fun-filled and educational afternoons at the art auctions. Ian and his band of art groupies made spending a LOT of money (for a person of my limited income) on art, a fairly painless process. We look forward to receiving our auction winnings and adding them to our collection.
Thank you Ian.
The bathrobes in Concierge class are better than the "non-concierge" class. The pillow menu never materialized, but our very nice room steward switched out the pillows every day. We finally found a combination of pillows that made sleeping on the already comfortable bed an acceptable alternative to our bed at home. Quite comfy!
The shampoo, soap and other bathroom necessities were more than adequate but did not seem like anything too upscale. That said, they weren't Wal-Mart either.
The excursions in Europe are heavily history laden. So be prepared to walk a lot, listen (as best as you can, considering the rather poor quality radio system), and enjoy the sights.
The only other negative thing I could possibly mention is that I didn't appreciate their insistence that I vacate my room and leave the ship after they claimed the trip was over. It should be over when I SAY it's over.
My wallet said it was over...so, I reluctantly got off the ship.
Be sure to take advantage of the benefits of booking your NEXT cruise while on board. The deposit is small and the perks are big.