SAILING: AUG 10- 27, 2010, POMPEII IS SOMETHING SO WONDERFUL SHIP: The ship and the experience were lovely! Great dEcor throughout the ship. Really beautiful, well -appointed public areas.
CABINS: My verandah cabin was lovely, spacious, great beds, beautiful marble bathrooms, and great closet space. A tour of all the other category cabins revealed equally well-laid out, attractive, sunny cabins. Even the smallest cabins were attractive. The pictures in the brochure don't do them justice. Hope new photos in next brochure will address that. Spoke with numerous singles on the ship who loved their cabins!
CREW: the Filipino crew were most friendly with all the passengers. Cabin stewards, dining room and bar staffs were delightfully attentive to guests.
OFFICERS: Very approachable to one and all.
DINING: The Marco Polo was 5 star in ambiance, service and above all -food. Not one mediocre meal and some simply spectacular ones. The Terrace Grill where we choose to eat most breakfasts and lunches had good food, well-prepared but could have used a little more variety. I understand that next year there is a plan to install more hot food stations, which will be welcome. The wine, while liberally poured, did not represent the area we were sailing through, i.e. Italian wines. Again, hotel manager, Matthew, commented that a new 2011 wine contract for some excellent local wines has been negotiated and these wines will be available next season. This will be a great improvement.
ENTERTAINMENT: The trio and the pianist were simply superb...very low-key but very good. Bonus was having the cello player's brilliant young son come on to play the piano! Awesome! The entire ambiance on board is very relaxed and self-directed. No cruise director enticing one to get involved. Not for those seeking organized activities on board!
POOL AREA: Loved the rattan furniture, the umbrellas, the arrangement of the lounges, the back rolls, big fluffy towels all made this really attractive. Some additional steps to get in and out of pool would be helpful.
LIBRARY: Gorgeous room with lots of itinerary-related historical, archeological, cultural materials. World newspapers are available to read. Guests are encouraged to take a paperback and leave a paperback. Check the lower cabinets to find lots of reading material.
EXCURSIONS: Very well planned and very satisfying. Some guides were better than others when it came to speaking English clearly, but this was not a big concern to guests since many guides were very good.
STOPS: excellent, historic, photogenic -not a bad word to say about these!
GUEST LECTURERS: All presented excellent information and insights about the area through which we were traveling . On a ship this size it was easy to strike up conversations with the lecturers throughout the day and at meals and ask particular questions of interest on a one-to-one basis.
SOME PREVIOUS ISSUES FROM EARLIER VOYAGES: Soot was definitely not as bad as reported earlier. A few days were worse than others but most days were not bad. Crew worked tirelessly to keep furniture clean. Air conditioning was working quite well for most of the cruise. The last two days on board however, the air seemed to falter and the ship and cabins got quite warm. This issue is understood and will be addressed when the ship goes into dry dock at the end of the season.