I traveled on this cruise with my Mother, and my only hope was that it was better than the harsh reviews and as good as the positive reviews.
By far this was the best cruise I have been on. I really enjoyed the smaller ship, higher staff/guest ratio, and the itinerary. My mother still prefers the bigger ships but enjoyed the rest of the perks.
The food was excellent, portions were just right so you didn't get up from the table feeling like thanksgiving turkey. Buffets always had interesting selections and good quality.
The interior stateroom was very roomy and the shower was big too. Like the washing line and shampoos and soaps provided. The laundry was busy but made travelling for 2 weeks with just carry-on easy.
All staff were very attentive and handled my food allergies with grace. I was able to look at the next nights menu every night, order, and the chefs made sure there were no ingredients that would cause problems. The outdoor grill nights were AMAZING. Can't say enough about the grilled squid and steak, or the soft shell crabs and frog legs. Who knew creamed lima beans could be so good?
A group of single ladies (6) ate at the steak venue, and this would be the only big short coming. We made a reservation and were told when we arrived that our table wasn't ready. But it felt like the reservation hadn't been written down. A table was quickly prepared right near the entrance, not very nice, so we asked for a better table inside. This was accommodated but we were made to feel like we were causing a big problem for the staff. The food was no better than the regular dining room, neither was the service.
Best surprise, coming back to the ship in Cievittecia/Rome (sp?), besides the usual juices, cold towels was champagne and live opera. Very classy.
My biggest complaint to Rudy and Richard was consistency. The standards are high and mostly they are reached but not consistently. I understand that there will always be staff changes that will cause some issues but it's the little things that count. Like always being given a spoon when ordering a coffee/tea, or having your milk or cream in a jug and not an espresso cup!
I would recommend the cruise line to anyone, but I would point out these small glitches. Hope this review is helpful.