This is quite a new ship which has a wow factor when you step on board. The atrium is impressive with comfy seating areas for avid people watching. The cabin we had was a midship balcony on deck 9 and was spacious, comfortable and kept spotlessly clean by our excellent cabin stewardess. The public areas of the ship were also kept spotlessly clean by the excellent, friendly crew.
Although the inital price of the cruise tends to be cheaper than other companies, you start paying once you get on board. The drinks are three times pub prices, there is no tap water available with your dinner, you have to pay for bottled water and there is no coffee after the meal. Also, you get charged 15% extra on top of the price of every drink. If you want a coffee, you have to go to a bar and pay. Although I don't begrudge the service charge because the staff are excellent, it is well to point out that this is 6 euros per person per day. So although the price of the cruise is initially cheaper, More
after the extras, the price works out at about the same as other 4 star cruise lines.
The food was good, however the ship as it is Italian, caters to Italian tastes with predominantly pasta choices at every meal. Also, in the evening there is no alternative to the main restaurant unless you want to pay extra.
The daytime entertainment on the sea days is confined to bingo, arts and crafts, stretching exercises and dance lessons by the animation team - from our point of view is is really poor. The evening shows were marginally better but nowhere near as professional as all the other ships we have been on. This may cater to the 90% Italian clientele on board.
All in all, although we knew the drawbacks of Italian cruising we chose this cruise for the itinerary and the warm places it visited on the run up to Christmas. We particularly liked the fact that this cruise avoided Casablanca which is not worth visiting. Less
Although the port area looks initally grim, once you get into the main city it is absolutely beautiful, particularly the Avenue Garibaldi. It takes about 15 minutes to walk from the ship and there is some fabulous architecture.
The port of Arrecife is a dump, however the bus to Puerto del Carmen or Costa Teguise can be caught on the main road. It takes about 30 minutes to get to Puerto del Carmen and about 10 minutes to get to Costa Teguise. The fares are very cheap.
The port for Rome is Civitavecchia which is one and a half hours away by excursion with the ship. The excursions are very expensive and this can be done on your own on the train for 9 euros return with a ticket called B.I.R.G. which also allows you to use trams, buses and the metro in Rome. The best station to get off at in Rome is San Pietro which is a 5 minute walk from Saint Peter's Square and there are regular return trains all day.
The ship docks in Santa Cruz and the there is a free bus which takes you to the port entrance which is on the edge of the main town. If you are feeling adventurous, you can get a bus from the bus station to Puerto de la Cruz which is a lovely place to visit. The bus pass costs 12 euros for 2 people.