Having never really looked at Cruises before, we took the plunge and booked to go on the Costa Fortuna through Virgin Cruises. It ticked all the locations we wanted to visit and seemed a good deal.
Then we started reading the reviews which made us wonder if we had booked the wrong holiday - however, we both take holidays as they come and make the best of anything so we went with an open mind. Embarking in Venice we were on board in no time and soon located our cabin, which was immaculate, spacious and well laid out, it was bigger than we expected and didn't feel cramped at all (have stayed in smaller hotel rooms!). There was plenty of wardrobe and cupboard space, with a bathroom more than adequate. If we needed anything, our cabin steward Emerico would sort it for us, he was always smiling and polite and the room was constantly cleaned with fresh towels twice a day.
The ship itself was immaculate. It is lavishly decorated and always clean. Bars and tables always clean and cleared away promptly, the staff worked incredibly hard to maintain the standard. We couldn't fault this ship and its staff at all, and Melissa, who was the English speaking host was always very helpful.
The food on board was readily available and the selection was amazing. There was something for everyone and we couldn't fault it at all. One late night we popped up to get a snack and there was fresh pizza, pasta, cakes and fruit, more than enough for anyone! The chefs and waiters all worked hard and were always cheerful and smiling, it seems that nothing is too much trouble for these hard workers.
Announcements were made in lots of different languages, bearing in mind it was an Italian ship and the majority of travellers were Italian, Spanish, French, German with a handful of English & American. We were told that anything relevant to us would be in English - simple!
As a first cruise, we couldn't fault this at all - our theory is if you go with an open mind then you wont be disappointed, and we were certainly not disappointed. We have now decided that cruising is something we will definitely be doing again!
We booked quite a few excursions and had heard it was chaos trying to get off ship - NOT the case at all. It was well organised and easy. We stopped at Bari & Katakolon and did our own thing.