First cruise ever. We had a great time but were in for a few surprises. First few minutes, a passenger (pax) complained she wanted a welcome gift. The poor crew had no idea what she meant , nor did we. She suggested a bagel? We found the wait staff to be wonderful while the pax were demanding, greedy, selfish to distraction.
Be prepared for many from the "Big Apple". The surrounding boroughs were well represented. Pax ran the staff around like dogs. It was so embarrassing. They ordered multiple entrees at meals. They grabbed all the DVDS as we left port; they hogged all of the lounge chairs (which was really bad while at sea)....and they booked the restaurants largely day one.
We didn't realize it was "Survivor" mentality. I decided I rather sink that be stuck with anyone of them on a life boat. I start with this because they were rude and obnoxious and it truly affected us. The boat was a bit shabby. The fumes of paint was apparentas they touched up the ship. We weren't looking for the QE 2 but I was a bit disappointed at how shabby it looked on the exterior. I felt that I was on the Nantucket steamship ferry.
As a kid, you could run around on the big steam ships. This boat was casual and lended itself to fun. It's not a cruise for more senior folks largely due to the need to board tenders to go to shore. The state rooms were just fine. The beds very good. Water pressure excellent...room kept very clean except aged fruit wasn't removed. In our room, the steward was outstanding. The staff worked like dogs and as stated, were treated accordingly much to our dismay. The ships staff was great . The captain seemed truly distant and indifferent. We didn't run aground nor hit an iceberg so he gets a passing grade. It wasn't fancy but we didn't want fancy. It was the perfect boat for us. Small. No crowds.
I felt the staff tried to please us and went over board to do so. No pun intended. The staff in The Veranda was a bit more reserved and less tolerant of the pax antics but still worked very very hard. The food was a mix of truly awful to ok. The room service food was so bad they should omit it. Nachos were broken chips with a little cheese. A grilled ceasar was worse. The breakfasts were great in the Veranda but the dinner fare was awful.I think they could relax the dress code as this isn't a formal affair (Ok I was dying to wear jeans. I'll admit it). It was my first cruise and I would do it again on this small ship. It was perfect for my interests, which was travel...rather than formality. If you want elite, formality ;don't get around well or require a balcony , don't take this ship. PS If you are a complainer , take another ship please. I had the time of my life. Its what YOU make of it and this was fun.
We give the service a 5 out of 5 and a 10 out of 5 for working as hard as they do and dealing with pax. The ships boat staff was wonderful and friendly. The reception desk worked hard to please as did cheryl. Geno, Alladin and Raphael had indelible smiles and made our time wonderful on board. Embarking was so easy as was leaving the boat. The ports were a lot of fun and beautiful. We made our our plans in port. The buses were very clean and timely that took you to town. The whole endeavor was well run. All in all, we were affected by the grab while it lasts mentality but the staff made our trip outstanding. Of note, the ROme toVenice trip is amazing.