We had a full day and night in Venice prior to embarkation, it is a magnificent city - completely different. We stayed in a hotel near Piazza Roma, which meant we were only 2 mins walk from the people mover, a monorail which for 1 euro took us to the port within 5 minutes. The ship has recently been refurbished and you can tell - it was fantastic. The staterooms were spacious and definitely bigger than we had expected. As we had our 15 year old daughter we had two adjacent rooms. Our attendant Jonathon, who was from the Dominican Republic was quite simply superb, he couldn't do enough for us.
We ate breakfast at Windjammer each morning and whilst busy, never had a problem getting a table. In the evening we had pre booked MTD. For us this worked very well indeed as we liked the flexibility, again the staff were always helpful and the quality of the food was excellent We didn't feel we need to use any of the speciality restaurants. The Park Cafe was a real find for salads etc at lunch and we would also recommend the superb chocolate brownies!
We pre booked 7 bottles of wine and wished we had booked the 9 package - although we are not big drinkers, it was quite easy to drink a bottle with dinner.