It was in 1961 and in 1973 that we had sailed transatlantic, aboard the Augustus & the Christophero Columbus, both from the italian line Italmar. We had also done Lisbon to Southhampton aboard the Eagle. But after almost 40 years this was to be a complete new experience. And it proved to be an excellent one!
Safety was top priority and we had to take part in the exercises immediately after boarding in Venice, and then right after leaving Rio de Janeiro. Our inside stateroom was very comfortable, nothing was missing, the air conditioning, TV, hair dryer functioned very well. Food was mesmerizing, so many gourmet choices that on the 2nd day I restricted myself to seafood, salad & fruit, which combined with daily walking, swimming, bridge & books formed the basis of our existence. mixed with some of the theatre & dancing options, all of them top quality. Customer service was outstanding everywhere, as well as organization and punctuality.
From about 100 different entertainment programs we found only 2 that were below average, a pretended Chopin pianist who performed several times in one of the big theaters, and a "flamenco" couple who danced anything but flamenco, let alone the inadequate music they were dancing to.
Finally, the internet connection was expensive and very slow, so frustrating that I had to go to an Internet Cafe in most of the ports we touched -I am being told Internet is a common failure in most cruises-.
My wife and I, and the other couple travelling together in a similar cabin, were very happy overall, rating this cruise 99 over 100.