After reading the reviews I was a bit concerned, but I am so happy that I did not find any of the negative experiences reported to be true for us. This was my 4th cruise. I have been on Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Carnival. This was by far the best. We were particularly concerned about all of the reviews about the chaotic check-in. We had no problem at all. Yes there was a line but it was orderly and moved quickly. We for there at 11:30 and were on the ship eating at the bountiful welcome buffet by 12:15. Our room was not ready until 2:00, but we enjoyed exploring, eating and drinking.
The luggage was at our room before 2:00. The room, for a cruise ship as spacious. We has an inside room on 11th floor and my daughter's family was in yacht club. Their room was quite large with spacious balcony. On most cruise ships I have not found the balcony to be worth the extra cost. On Preziosa I think it is a nice extra because it is a large balcony and the ship travels pretty close to shores so there is much to see. I enjoyed some late evening sunsets and moonlight from daughter's balcony. However, I did not feel at all deprive because our room was very quiet and nice. So about the pushy, arrogant, rude Europeans.....Well, I never had that experience - not even once - never. People were kind and respectful enough. Did people come ahead of you in buffet line? Yes... but mostly because people stand and stare for long periods of time. If you are gazing at muffins and I only want the croissant that is ahead of you I do not see reason to wait and wait. So yes people will go around you, but not in a rude way - just efficient.
So about the ship running out of food at buffet??? Well, I never ever had that experience. There was always plenty of food....tons of food. There were breads and muffins of all types, wonderful warm croissants, oatmeal, eggs, bacon, salami, ham and more fruit and cereal than you could possibly want. Is the seating hard to find? Well only if you insist on sitting right by the buffet. There are tables all around including on deck. There are plenty of places to sit, but occasionally you might have to walk a few steps. My favor place to sit was on deck 14 at enclosed tables that overlook the view. I never had trouble getting table there.
So about the rude staff that does not help you at all??? Again, that was far from my experience. I found the staff the be delightful and attentive. There are trying to manage people that speak many different languages and I think they did a wonderful job. I highly recommend the drink package if you like beer, wine and other spirits. There was always a server close by to bring drinks. Let's just say we did get our money's worth from the drink package. They can tell by looking at your ship card that you have drink package so you will always get a bill that says zero.
I was never bothered by the announcements in various languages. Once I heard what I needed in English I turned back to enjoying my drinks and family. It is important to keep in mind that they only have to do messages in Italian - the rest is courtesy so it seems odd to complain about it. There were occasions when announcement were only in Italian, but I figured if I really needed to know they would have announced in more languages.
My meals in the dinning room were great. The food was good and plentiful. I was often full by the 3rd course. They brought us as many bottles of wine as we consumed and all was part of the drink package. I am not sure how much more food anyone would want. Perhaps people complaining that there was not enough food speaks to the obesity problem in USA. Trust me, you will not starve on this cruise. If you need more food than they serve ask yourself why.
Every port of call was beautiful, but Dubrovnik, Croatia was the most spectacular. My suggestion would be more time in Croatia and cut out the Bari, Italy stop all together. It did not add much and time in Katakalon and Dubrovnik would have been better. There are deals galore when you get off ship. If shopping is your thing this is a good cruise for you. On the day at sea the ship has huge shopping event on the deck. I bought Valentino handbags for about $55 and would have paid hundred in USA or on ebay. The sales people in Turkey can be relentless. You just have to be firm - well they will still keep asking but stay firm.
In summary, I can say that I have been on cruises that cater to you more. But, I really do not like or need that. Some of the over the top kindness on carnival, rc and others is just about trying to get more tips. It is way to syrupy and fake for me. I prefer the European cruise - the staff is kind, bring what you need and keep it moving. Now if you are seeking a slave ship where every worker is at you beck and call this is not it. If you want reasonable serve on a really beautiful ship with great ports of call this come aboard. I highly recommend it!!! About the wifi situation. I have T-Mobile so I have free international service. It does not work when ship is moving, but free at the ports of call and when ship is docked. There were many times when we were sailing that my phone picked up signals other than ship so I was free to use phone. But....it was better to just unplug and enjoy. Perhaps all of the complainers about this cruise had very difference experience or different expectations. I enjoy other cultures and do not expect people to cater to me. I think it is pretty awesome to be on a ship and not have to constantly tip people. We were charged $7 per day to cover all tipping. I think that pretty darn excellent.
My granddaughter is 5 and loved kids club. The staff loved her too. She was ready to go everyday and it was hard to pull her away. She did not seem to care about the language differences. She had a blast. Perhaps teaching children to enjoy and embrace differences would be good before sending to Kids Club.
Okay - here is a bug tip that likely would save on the complaints....Read your newsletter every night. It tells you call that you need to know for next day. It is not just random information. I think people that were confused and felt things were disorganized had not read the directions and information. It was smooth sailing for us. In fact it was pretty perfect!!!