Arrival at Genoa - to find chaos in the hall to book onboard. Arrived on board - beautiful - cabin spotless. Super balcony. The ship is fantastic - glittering from top to bottom with shimmering lights. With so many floors the lifts just cannot cope - they often do not stop on your floor.
The areas permitted to smoke are far too many - even one huge lounge with dancing was used for several meetings etc but as the smoke smell was so bad we did not attend. The areas running down the side of the ship by the side of the swimming pool (part enclosed) was smoking permitted. The entire indoor pool area full of children - smoking permitted).
The restaurant service was poor to start - no time for coffee we were originally told at dinner the first night - every night after coffee was served as the order for sweet was taken. Lights go up after one and a half hours to tell you to leave!! A glass of water was served HOT. Many meals for the table of 6 were completely missed - forgotten or brought out of sync with the other meals. We had ordered the wine in the UK - they knew nothing about it on board. Had to find our documentation to convince them - and they worked out what it involved. They used a book of vouchers to tear out a bottle each night. They originally had no person responsible for the wine.
Water had to be purchased at almost £2 per bottle. Tonic £2.80 - (Beer 2 bottles) £9. It cost 6 Euros per person one day & 5 Euros other days, to get out of the port on the local coaches. The hazards within the port made the coach essential.
The gym was part closed to the public because of poor conditions at sea and the spa sauna was closed because a VIP had wanted it to himself. VIP passengers are the elite with their own facilities - but it did not stop them using the midnight feast to gorge themselves silly with the rest of the passengers.
The daily newsletters were repetitive and the information for the Germans had included film shows etc that the other nationalities did not get. The dress code of formal when at Sea - informal in-port did not apply. Smart jackets was the order every day, apart from two Gala nights - one night informal.
The shows started as rubbish but gradually improved - and the quality of performers became outstanding. Poor stage lighting was a major factor and my comments on board were noted and acted upon.
Overall the ship was excellent, the friendliness usually associated with a cruise was totally missing. Meet one of the few English speakers - standby for a criticism and a moan. Stella looked after the cabin really well - Ice each night!!
Overall - just about value for money - but would never set out to choose a large ship again.