However, we were disappointed with many aspects of the cruise. There are somewhere in the region of 2000 passengers on board. Due to free travel for children, a large number were on board and I have to say we found this to be very irritating at times, especially in the evening when it was impossible to find a quiet spot to relax and listen to music or have a drink. The main foyer had a pianist and two violinists giving a performance in the evenings and it would have been nice to actually be able to hear them above the screaming and quite often bad behaviour of children. The entertainment in the Theatre was very good.
A lot of extra cost was involved. Water has to be purchased during dinner and no coffee is available after the meal. Similarly in the cabin. There is a coffee/tea machine on the 13th deck which allows one to obtain this but in the most ghastly blue plastic mugs! More suitable for children than mature adults. The standard of the food was quite acceptable and the Dinner menu good. The service by our waiter was exceptional and well done to him.
The cabin was good but with a restricted view but we knew this before booking. It was always clean and tidy. We did have a problem with the daily newsletter. It kept being delivered in Turkish as we had embarked at Istanbul and it took several trips to Reception to get it changed. Staff at Reception varied from friendly to fairly stand offish. Being an Italian ship the staff were mainly Italian and some spoke very little English which is surprising as they must cater for an international clientele.
The excursions were fairly disorganised but I suppose with 2000 passengers to get on their dedicated coaches this was to be expected. I feel it would have been a better system to issue everyone with a dedicated 'number' the previous evening with detailed instructions as to where to go. The lounges became chaotic on the morning of excursions. Places visited were a bit rushed and we tended to do our own thing rather than join the throng.Overall, it was an acceptable cruise but we would not use this ship again. Maybe something smaller with a limited number of children on board. This together with one that when advertising 'inclusive' really meant that. A lot of extra expense was involved and even the shuttle bus was not free as on some other cruises.