I booked this cruise because of a conference onboard and also wanted to see what 6 star cruise experience is like. The chance to visit the Black Sea was also an attraction.
I added the business class upgrade to Athens and from Istanbul because of the long flight from the west coast of North America. It was well worth the $999 each way. They flew us there on KLM and back on Delta. We were met at Athens airport by RSSC representative and a dozen of us were sent by bus to the Divani Caravel Hotel. They had a hospitality desk at the hotel that handled our questions. Arrangements to take us to the ship the next day was very smooth. Check-in was very efficient as their staff handled one bus at a time and the buses arrived at staggered times. We were treated to a buffet lunch with white table cloth once onboard since the suites were not ready until 2:30 p.m.
We booked a guaranteed Suite F but was "upgraded" to Concierge Suite D on Deck 10. The suite was the same size as a mini-suite on larger ships but the layout was very functional. There was a walk=in closet and the bathroom was good size. Even though there was no bathtub, the shower was quite large and the shape of the bathroom made everything very convenient. The bed was an European King size bed that had a plush pillow top. The mini-bar was stocked with water, soda and beer (no extra charge). Balcony was fair size with two bamboo chairs and an ottoman.
Cabin was in the mid-aft section of the ship. Since it was one deck below the buffet restaurant, I did hear occasional rumbling noise overhead, probably due to rolling carts. These happened at random times but did not bother me at all. I visited another cabin on Deck 7 which seemed quieter. Being situated one deck below the buffet, it was an advantage each morning just to walk up one flight of stairs without having to wait for the elevator.
I took the tour to visit two palaces, one a summer place for the Czars and one where they signed the treaty before the end of World War II. The historical significance of the Lividia Palace was overwhelming. Half day tour was good way to get a taste of the city.