I very much agree with the other reviews of this transatlantic cruise! This was my first transatlantic and I was excited to see if I would like spending so much time on the ship. Ironically, my first experience was on a ship that smelled like a sewer. Yikes! It was absolutely horrible at times. I thought it was a smell in the port, but it turned out to be on the ship. It wasn't uncommon to see people with their hands over their nose and/or whole face. It was that bad!! I especially felt bad for the crew members who told us that it was worse on the lower levels where their cabins are. I can't imagine how they could live in those conditions. 14 days was long enough to deal with it, and they had been dealing with it even longer than that.
Anyway, I think jack champion said it best when he said that the lack of sympathy for fellow passengers was the worst. That is what disappointed me so much. I have cruised on multiple cruise lines, and I had just pretty much decided to stick with RCI for most of my future cruising so that I could build up my loyalty status. Now, I have no idea how much I want to cruise with them since they didn't seem to care at all how we felt about this problem. If they had offered ANYTHING AT ALL (free internet time, a free drink, etc.) it would have helped a little. It was just unbelievable that they ignored the whole issue! The comedians made jokes about it and the crew certainly talked about it, but RCI never even acknowledged the inconvenience to us much less apologized. That is what amazed me so much. Guest Services told me that they couldn't offer onboard credit and that was it.
I think I would have wanted to jump overboard if the smell would have been in my cabin. At least that was not the case for us. We were in an inside cabin on deck 4, and it was fine. We talked to a couple at lunch one day, however, who weren't so fortunate. They said that the smell was in their room, and they had to wear surgical masks to sleep. I have no idea how they could stand that! That is absolutely unacceptable!!
We had an inside cabin that was quite comfortable. The beds are good and there is quite a bit of storage space. We heard that some of the safes required the use of your credit card which kind of defeats the purpose. :) Ours wasn't like that. It worked just fine with simply putting in a combination of our choice. There wasn't a refrigerator, so they put the "honor bar" out on our desk space. We asked that it be removed and they took care of it right away. The shower is even smaller than most, but you do get used to it. The toilets were the biggest issue since they only worked when they wanted to. The last thing is that they didn't make the TVs interactive when they did the refurbishment. It is nice to check your account, etc. on that, and we didn't have that option. The TVs were nice, flat screens, but they should have added that capability. The channels were quite limited, as always. They also needed to provide more movie options on such a long cruise.
We actually docked in Toulon, but Marseille was the only option on the list. They are quite close to each other, but Marseille may be a bit more scenic. It was fun to go to the market in Toulon and wander around the old town. There weren't a lot of other things to do if you didn't get out to one of the surrounding towns though. There is a huge marina there, so if you are into boats, you should really like this city. I wouldn't be in a hurry to get back to this port and would probably book some type of excursion if I did have an itinerary that included Toulon.
Once again, we simply explored the city and enjoyed being able to walk a lot and feel quite safe. There is a beautiful, huge cathedral that you can see from far away. It was fun to see that even though we didn't get to go inside it. We actually got to walk in the water at a beach near the cathedral. We also loved the cafe that was right on the beach. We stayed later at this port, so we had the opportunity to see much of the city at night which was also quite a treat. I would like more opportunity to explore this city, so I would definitely go back there if I found another ship that included this city in it's schedule of ports.
Cadiz is the actual port for Seville. It is a beautiful city that is fun to simply explore on your own. We found a wonderful seaside cafe where we could check Internet and watch the surfers! I heard from other passengers that Seville is very beautiful, too. I think it is pretty easy to take a train on your own which is much less expensive than taking an excursion through the cruise line. If I were to go back there, I think that is what I would do. Cadiz is beautiful, but I would probably go into Seville on my next visit.