Spectacular first-time cruise: 7 days Venice to Athens!
My wife and I could not have been happier with our first-time cruising experience. We "maxed out" our waking hours: 7 fascinating shore excursions, meals in all 4 restaurants (including the exquisite "Restaurant 2" with its celebrity chef tasting menu), room service on our cabin's veranda for several breakfasts and 3 times for caviar & champagne in the afternoon, entertainment every night (musical reviews, amazing magician, clever/funny pianist/comedian), dancing every night past midnight, but only visit to the pool (no time!)....
The staff was excellent in all respects, always attentive but not overbearing & genuinely friendly. Comparable to our experience at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman.
All arrangements were remarkably efficient: no waiting at any time; no more than 20 people on each day's luxury touring bus; tour guides who were engaging and informative with interesting side-stories.... We saw and learned a LOT!
Fellow passengers were very diverse in their backgrounds and generally easy to chat with.
Easy arrangements at ports of embarkation (water taxi in Venice after 3 days @ Ca' Sagredo Hotel on the Grand Canal) and disembarkation (touring bus in Athens from the port to the Acropolis followed by a drop-off for one night @ King George Palace Hotel).