Trip to the shipThe cruise line does not furnish transportation to and from the ship. That can be costly. To the ship was e150.00 for 2. From the ship was $120.00 U.S. each. Embarkation was fairly smooth. One surprise was that X-ray and metal detectors are used on the ship each time you enter. What they are looking for is beyond me. I doubt any terrorists would ride that boat so it became obvious to many that they are primarily looking for alcohol. Note They do not allow passengers to bring liquor on board.
The rooms Even though they are small in square footage, they are extremely adequate. The showers are fantastic (plenty of water.)
Staff Exceptional people. Most are from Malaysia, hard workers and very friendly.
Food Adequate, nothing special, it all looks great but all is mass produced and lacks seasoning, many small portions and courses to deal with.
Ports of call Most are accessible only by the ship's old tenders. They need replacing, are noisy, smelly, and slow. Several stops were obviously poorly planned as there were three-five other cruise ships in port at the same time and the crowds were nerve racking and overwhelming. (Much like being at a football game.)
Seaworthiness of ship Due to the smaller size (compared to large luxury liners) the ship doesn't fare well with rough seas. One day we were at sea all day with 10-15 foot swells, many including me got sea sick. It was so rough all the water sloshed out of one swimming pool on deck. I was in bed most of the day. The ship is also very slow and the sails couldn't be used due to wind direction. I noticed most other ships readily passing us while at sea.
Entertainment None to speak of and that's good. The water sports platform on the rear of the ship is excellent for kayaking. They don't allow swimming off of the platform but you can get in a kayak and go out a short distance and swim off of it. The "Help Desk" or Reception desk They are not very helpful unless it's very simple. They refused to convert Euros to U.S., don't appear to really want to help, unable to give any alternatives to issues such as alternatives for travel/transportation off the ship, not extremely helpful. Most of the crew were friendly and helpful but not this group.
Disembarkation The ship required bags to be packed and outside cabin at 1 a.m. night before disembarking so packing becomes an issue. It was a pain standing in long lines awaiting for return of our passports, awaiting baggage to be delivered off ship, etc. and ship charged $120.00/each for a bus ride to the airport from dock.
Overall It's really just another cruise. The sailing sounds so romantic though. (It's not really.) Too far to travel (from U.S. to Rome and Venice back to U.S.)for the ports of call. We should have just stayed in Rome or Venice for a week and seen more interesting sites/places. On board they will nickel and dime you to death. Beers are $6.00-$9.00 each, mixed drinks are $6.00, wine corkage is $15.00 if you bring it on board and as mentioned, they do not allow passengers to bring liquor on board. (You can slip it through if you're careful. Use your imagination.)