The DW and I have just completed our Med. cruise and would recommend our experience to anyone thinking about partaking in this voyage.... with one caveat.
We were in a Haven Spa suite on the 14th floor and had access to the spa and the courtyard areas. These two "perks" made this trip a success and have spoiled us to the "suite" life from now on.
Embarkation went extremely smooth as the majority of passengers on this ship used Barcelona as their starting point, leaving Citivechia to be uncongested. I wonder why people would choose Barcelona over Rome... each to their own. As we had priority embarkation we were whisked on to the ship by a butler directly to the Haven and given a tour of the facilities. At this time my DW and I agreed that this area was going to be our base of operations.
The Haven and spa were great as they were never crowded and the level of service high. The spa hydrotherapy pool was used by both of us daily and the DW had spa services on three occasions and was extremely pleased with the service from the mostly U.K. staff.
Posh was never crowded and the bartenders poured extremely strong drinks. It is amazing what a few Euro coins will get you!On the second day of the trip, the bartender was pouring my fav. drink as I entered the beach club and we were on a first name basis for the rest of the voyage.
The spa suite was large and the balcony was excellent as we booked a bump out room. The balcony held two loungers and two reg. chairs. An oasis for room service breakfast enjoyment.The washroom facilities were fine as the two of us have been together for 20 years. Enough said about the "loo" on other posts. There were never any storage issue as we are experienced travellers and always pack light.
We used 4 specialty restaurants (Bistro, Cagney,s,La Cucina,Sushi) and were pleased with both the service and food quality.All other meals were had in the Epic club or room service, with the exception of trying the Garden cafe for lunch and O'Sheehans for a late Dinner. O'Sheehans was very loud, the service was poor and the food was bland. I have been to my share of pubs and bar eateries and the atmosphere and food quality were poor. The Garden cafe was a feed lot and was a mistake on our part to try it.The only enjoyable part of the cafe was watching patrons fill their plates to overflowing in a deperate attempt to "get their monies worth". We actally heard a family of four at a nearby table use this exact phrasing to describe their lunch.
We never used the shore excursions, NCL or others, as we enjoy doing it alone with our rucksack and our trusty Rick Steves book.We took self guided tours in Nice, Pisa, and Sorrento and never spent over 25 Euro for local trains,return, that allowed us to get away from the tremendous bulk of tourists from the cruise ships.We met and talked to locals and had meals with them in two ports.
I wish more cruisers would take this philosophy and get away from the insulated tour buses and experience more than the canned guide desciptions and souvenir shops.
The one caveat I spoke about in the introduction is the realization that my DW and I would not cruise on this line without being in the Haven or have Haven access as we did. We felt empathy for other passengers on the sun deck as they appeared to be packed in, sardine like, and had to use the two small wash bins, I mean pools.
I hope this review does not sound "haughty" as we are not rich and work hard to afford our vacations. We will try other lines such as Azamara or Regent next to get an idea what they have to offer.
We will return to the NCL line and enjoy the "suite" life again. We hope others get their chance to be treated as well as we were by the staff through out the ship.
P.S. Try the Chocolate trio and the Crab Benedict in the Epic Club.