We'd sailed a similar ship to Alaska in 2005 and found it to be comfortable and quite a bit more upscale than others we'd taken. Delicious dining options in addition to prepaid tips and soft drinks make it so appealing. Most of the ports sounded interesting (Canakkale was a waste of time) and spending a couple of days in Istanbul was fabulous. Friends researched it well and made plans for a guide in Istanbul and for excursions (not through the ship)in many of the ports.
Staff could not have been nicer. We had trouble to find anything that didn't meet our high expectations! Internet was very pricey and we tried to find it in town at cafes when possible. We planned to have dinner in some of the ports, but the local menus didn't look interesting enough and we headed back to the ship every night instead. After busy days in each port, dinner "at home" was great and we enjoyed the Prime C and Aqualina Restaurants very much.
We were too tired and busy to use the gym or spa and the night entertainment didn't seem terribly exciting---we needed to rest up for the next busy day ahead.