Just back from this cruise. Several items that we had questions about are addressed below.
1. Italian ship for US citizens. While all employees were conversant in English, the majority of cruisers were European. Since we were not bi-lingual, making conversation was almost impossible. If making friends is important, then, this is not the cruise for you.
2. Smoking policy. Too much smoking on the ship.
3. Ship size was extremely large, and lunchtime tended to be a free for all with limited seating.
4. Wine and beer packages were available, and reasonably priced. Buy when you get on board. Daily drink specials were also posted, and were a reasonable alternative. Wine and alcohol bought on ports could be consumed discreetly on board even though there policy states otherwise.
5. Child policies were not enforced; expect kids in the warm tubs.
6. Service was impeccable and well worth the 7e fee.
7. Excursions from the boat. On all ports, excursions could be purchased independently when you leave the ship. The shore excursions we booked through the cruise ship were excellent and maintained our low stress levels.
8.time in port. Limited time in most of the ports, would have liked less time on the boat and more time on land.
All in all the cruise fulfilled our needs. Next cruise will not be on a European owned ship.
Overall, a nice experience,