Flew to Rome 2 days before cruise. We stayed at Hotel Artorius near the Coliseum. Great small hotel, walking distance to many sites and good restaurants (2 Columns is recommended). Hired a driver from FCO (40 Euro) and from Rome to Civitavecchia (taxiaroma 120 Euro) again highly recommended. Jet lag tip: we landed in Rome from SFO the morning. We toured all day and did not rest until about 8 pm. Did not have much problem with jet lag with this method and were able to get up early the next day for our Vatican tour. Embarkation was smooth and we were on ship around noon.
Ship impressions: Star Princess is going into drydock later in November. We thought the ship was adequately clean and laid out. Our cabin was Caribe 315 extended balcony was nice and used often. Plenty of storage but no dresser. Carpet was a bit worn but I am sure that will be changed in drydock. Cabin Steward John was very attentive and friendly. This sailing was not sold out and as a result we did not find too much problem in finding loungers near the pool. Pools were really too cool to swim in.
Dining: Luck out with great tablemates and great servers in Yoana and Rhoderick early seating in Capri Dining room. The head waiter was very involved in helping the crew- first time I had seen a head waiter so active. Food was OK, nothing to complain about but nothing to especially cheer. Most evenings meals were relaxed and fun. I do have one complaint about Princess dining: Their morning dining the the MDR is ends at 9 am. On sea days we would like not to rush to breakfast. Not much a fan of buffets, so really did not visit Horizon Court except on disembarkation day.
Entertainment: early in cruise we did not do much in the evening, later we enjoyed the comedy shows. The magician was just OK. We enjoyed the Halloween party and dance. We briefly watched a movie outside but start time was not the same as what was listed in Patter so we missed the beginning. Casino was dead for most of the cruise. Activities on Sea Days seem a bit light compared to other cruise lines. I did enjoy the Zumba, Line Dancing and Ballroom classes.
Ports: Frankly a great itinerary- only disappointment was Khios was cancelled due to rough seas (our only tendered port). The weather gods were with us. No rain, a little cool and cloudy but great for touring.