Activities on board range from gentle stretch classes in the morning to enrichment lectures and commentary when the ship is sailing the Venice lagoon. The standard of guides who come on board to offer this is exceptional.
Other than this, there are library books to borrow, a souvenir shop, a small spa treatment room and a gym.
Occasional evening entertainment is brought on board, ranging from a singer and band performing traditional Italian songs to an opera trio. Evenings otherwise tend to be quiet; unless there’s arranged entertainment, people are tired after fairly intense sightseeing days ashore.
Most days are spent on tour ashore, so life on board for those not joining the tours is quiet. Most guests are content to lounge on the top deck or read or play cards in Hari’s Bar and Lounge, the ship’s main lounge. A selection of books is provided in the Panini Bar, a separate section of the lounge.
There are just two lounge areas, where all talks, drinks parties and briefings take place. Hari’s Bar is the main lounge, with the smaller Panini Bar off one end.
Hari’s Bar (Murano Deck): Hari’s Bar is the main gathering place on the ship, flooded with light thanks to windows that run the length of the bar on both sides. There’s a bar in shimmering gold at the centre, with glass tables and gilded chairs along each side. A pianist entertains in the evenings. This is where the Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks take place.
As well as drinks, tea and specialty coffee are available at Hari’s Bar all day. You can get a croissant here in the mornings if you miss breakfast, and a small selection of cakes and cookies is put out in the afternoons.
Panini Bar (Murano Deck) The Panini Bar, so called as it offer lunchtime panini, is a pretty room located forward of Hari’s Bar, done out in pale gold and sapphire blue, with comfortable chairs and bookshelves. If offers a quieter space than the main bar and can be used separately for private groups.
Sun loungers, chairs and tables line the upper deck of the ship, with oversized umbrellas in striped brown and black providing shade. There is no pool or hot tub. There’s no jogging track, but passengers do run or power walk laps. The upper deck has full waiter service. There’s a giant chess set, too. This area is always busy during the scenic sailing elements of the cruise, with a guide providing narration through the Quiet Vox sets that are issued to every passenger.
The Reception desk is where guests book shore excursions, while the lavishly appointed reception area, done out in gold and black, is also where the cruise manager’s desk is located. WiFi is free on board. There is one elevator that travels between the three passenger decks but does not access the uppermost open air deck.
A 24-hour tea and coffee station is located on Burano deck, while there’s a passenger laundry, free to use, on Torcello deck.
The ship carries a fleet of bicycles but this is something of a mystery as you’re not allowed to use them anywhere in Venice, or in Chioggia. Essentially, they appeared to be for the crew.
There’s a tiny ‘Serenity River Spa’ — really, just a single treatment room — forward on Burano deck. Treatments are charged by length, from €60 for 30 minutes to €160 for 90 minutes. Treatments include hot stone massage, wellbeing massage, body buff, reflexology and facials.
A fitness centre is located on Burano deck, with exercise bikes, a treadmill and weights. Gentle stretch classes are held on deck in the early morning.
The ship carries a fleet of bicycles but there is nowhere on the itinerary where their use is allowed, so they seemed a rather pointless addition. A cycling tour from Chioggia uses an external supplier.
The regular itineraries attract a mature audience but there’s plenty in Venice that would entertain children, and plenty of simpler items on the menu that might appeal to young palates. Better, though, are Uniworld’s Generations cruises, of which there are three a year in Venice, with daily excursions and activities geared to families.