So we had 3 weeks booked and we had decided we were going to Italy, my girlfriend began mentioning going to visit Greece as well so we began looking at ferries and whatnot. Turns out they can be rather complicated. Not sure how we decided, but we began looking at cruises that would stop there. We found that the Navigator was going to not one but two ports there AND going on to Turkey then Egypt (both dream destinations). The price was confusing, as when we began looking, inside cabins were the same price as outside cabins, we dragged out feet and did not book right away, and the outside rooms went up by $1,000.00. Once the price jump happened we got our room right away before the price went up again. We headed to the port, then had to put up with way more people than there were buses for at the gate to the Civetavecchia Port. Royal Caribbean really needs to correct the shuttle bus situation, as it was a bad way to begin the cruise. We eventually made it to the disembarkation tent, then onto the boat. Wow it was big, being that I've never been on a cruise I was not sure what to expect, but this boat was bigger than aircraft carriers I have visited.
The staff were all very friendly, the only ones who did not smile and greet us were the work men (there was ongoing work being done to resurface several areas, and wow did they ever make deck 4 smell like paint thinner). I would imagine the workers are not staff, because any of the rest of the staff went out of their way to greet you.
The room we had was really tiny, but well laid out, it seemed there was a place for everything, even the bed was set up so you could put your luggage underneath. Our cabin attendant was nice, although on the first day of he cruise she left us the cruise compass (the daily what's going on guide) in Dutch because she saw we were from Canada lol. I can assure you I have never heard any Dutch spoken here, and once we assured her that we spoke perfect English the correct version of the compass was brought.
The food onboard was good, we never went to the Main Dining Room because we preferred the relaxed atmosphere and dress code. The few times we looked at the menu offered we noticed it was almost the same as the buffet (the Windjammer). My biggest criticism of the buffet was that the food was almost the same every day for 12 days. We ordered room service a few times and it was always fast and hot. In all the food was very good, just not enough variety.
We saw the shows a few nights in the Main Theatre and really enjoyed them (a Beatles Tribute, a Frankie Valli Tribute, etc) Enjoyed the ice show, but you really need to get to the rink early as it fills up fast.
Took advantage of the adults only pool (oh my gosh it was cold!) and the hot tubs, both were nice, although with 3,000 people onboard you almost need more, things got very busy on sea days.
The port selection was really good, although Messina is a bit of a waste of time (we didn't get there until 2:00, and all the stores were closed until 4:00) although some did do an excursion to Etna from there, so other than that I am not sure why we even ported there.
In all though, this was our first cruise, and we both really enjoyed it and hope to do it again.