We were a little bit apprehensive as we didn't know what to expect and did wonder if some of the negative comments we had read would bother us - would the ship be too big, as non smokers would the smoking on board bother us, would there be lots of children running riot? The answer to all these questions was a big resounding no. We couldn't fault the cruise in any way.
We sailed with my two teenage sons, 14 and 19, who had the interior cabin directly opposite us and they really enjoyed the freedom of having their own space. We opted for My Time dining and never had a problem with getting a seat, despite there being very little choice of time available when I tried to pre-book on line a week before we sailed. We found that eating at 8.30 worked well for us as we tended to have long days off the ship, but then still had time for an hour's sunbathing and watching the sail away each evening before getting ready for dinner. We then spent the rest of the evening having a leisurely meal, and the fact that the dining room was a bit quieter by about 9.00 pm meant that our servers had a lot of time to spend looking after us and we didn't feel at all rushed.
We ate breakfast in the Windjammer and never had a problem finding a table, except on the last day when the ship docked in Toulon and I think a lot of people decided to stay on the boat. As we were off the ship all day, Windjammer was usually closed by the time we returned (5.00 pm) but we ate Tapas in the Aquarius bar a couple of times and although there was a limited choice, it was enough to put us on until dinner time. Food was excellent in all cases, plenty of choice and well presented. Also good to see staff enforcing hand sanitization on entering the various eating places.
Service from staff in all cases was excellent, nothing was too much trouble for anyone.
The only show we attended was the Ice Show which was excellent, but there was plenty of choice of entertainment for anyone that wanted it. My sons didn't take part in any of the kids activities, although there seemed to be plenty to keep all ages occupied.
The Cloud on the Horizon? - the DREADFUL weather we had in Florence - thunder, lightening, torrential rain, hail stones all afternoon. We got absolutely soaked and didn't see all that we wanted to because the weather was so bad - a good excuse to go back to this beautiful city.
All in all, we had a fantastic time, and are now desperately saving up to go on another cruise for our Silver Wedding anniversary in 2011.