We are first time cruisers and first time to Europe. Taking this cruise achieved our goal of getting a "sample" of cruising and of Europe. The ship is well maintained, clean and have very good staff. the balcony stateroom was a good choice even though we were on the sea only at night.
The embarkation was a little confusing for us, but went quite well. Arriving in Rome early in the morning we were able to start our check-in early and have lunch in the Windjammer while we waited for our room to be available around 1 PM. Debarkation was even more confusing as we were told several different instructions by staff. Since we had a private driver pick-up time before our assigned debarkation time, we were unsure if we needed to do Express Check-out and wait for two hours in the holding tent or just go when we wanted and pick up our luggage any time. Guest Services gave us a flexible method to do this and it worked fine.
Food is good with a lot of variety but it tends to get monotonous later in the week as food is re-purposed in different dishes. We selected My Time Dinning and had our dinners at a time of our choice. We had to prepay our gratuities to make this selection. Those meals were good most times, but we did have two bad dinners. We ate at the Portofino restaurant one night ($20/person extra) and that was the best meal we had. It was five-star quality and worth the extra money. The Italian wines were good for the price.
Our balcony stateroom was adequate and I think good size for a ship. Plenty of storage space. The bathroom is very small and if you're an average American size, the shower will be tight. Our attendant kept the room clean and delivered ice twice a day. The water is drinkable but sometimes smells like sulphur, so we bought the water package. The water in the bars and restaurant is fine, but inconvenient from the room.
The pool deck was always popular and crowded, so we tended to use it for occasional walking and sitting in the early hours. The self-serve frozen ice milk cones on the deck were yummy. Bar service, coffee and pastries in the Cafe Promenade were good.
The Internet and wireless service is OK, but not administered well. It is not available from your room and cost $35/60 minutes or $.65/minute. If you need Internet access, it works but watch your balance and correct any errors as its used.