Dining room staff, bar staff, cabin staff all very helpful and friendly English was not too good though. Reception staff though they wore English badges they could speak English but could not understand your problem in particular Jacques a French staff member was rude and abrupt to me.
Food was good preferred the Giardino restaurant which we used at breakfast and lunch as it was buffet type though manic everyone rushing to find a table and one without plates piled up. The Botticeli Al La Carte restaurant which we used for the evening meal was only geared up to Italian food and the actual meal could take some considerable time to get served. Staff in dining room put on entertainment which was excellent. Was told only English & Americans tip though we were already paying compulsory tips in the cost of the cruise.
We upgraded before the cruise to the drinks package for around 400 for the both of us we added up that it was worth it even though we are not serious drinkers as even a glass of water is charged for.No drinks offered with meals unless you paid for them, no offer of tea only 4-5pm in a designated dining area. No snacks between meal and no midnight buffets like we have experienced on other cruises. Odd mini snack handed out at the bar.
Cabins are spacious and come complete with use of towelling robe which mosr wore to sit outside around the pool and slippers, mini bar which drinks are charged for and a coffee machine which any drinks taken are charged for we took our own kettle and adapter. TV in room we only found BBC World News majority of everything else was in Italian and French.
Entertainment geared up for the Italians some seemed rather dated and childish things which the Italians seemed to like such as making a train of people dancing round the room or getting up on the dance floor and doing silly things with balloons. Enjoyed the dance groups and tenor singers but the nightly singer and her partners music was very repetative.
The constant announcements in several languages got on your nerves especially as English seemed to be the last language.
Very disorganised to get off the ship when the tender was required waited hours to get off and weather kept getting the blame majority of the problem was because they did not start letting people off sooner and in a more organised fashion, Italians do not believe in queuing and would push at customer services and to get off the ship. A time was anniunced to oick up tickets to nget off the ship to enter the tender boats but we found that these tickets had been handed out long before the time announced we always ended up with a high number, the first time tender boat was used to get off at Bornholm barely anyone other than the ship trips got to go there and weather was blamed some gave up and never went ashore others were taken to another place near Bornholm with barely anything there. The same happened when we was meant to used tender boats to visit Visby barely anyone got off to see that they abandoned it after ticket number 9 and we was 22 so never saw that place either. Why announce a time to collect tickets then hand them out a hour sooner.
We had to pay to get on a coach at every port into the town and this was added to our cruise bill think this should have been included in the cruise.
The chocolate bar was amazing every tyoe of chocolate drink and chocolates free if you had took the drinks package, next to their a cigar room where people could smoke if they did not want to go to the designated area outside.
Outside we was told you were not allowed to reserve sun beds however on the adult deck only some had the same lounger and pods all the cruise by leaving their belongings there all day which seemed very unfair, the jacuzzi up there was amazing and water lovely and warm.
There are 3 computers up on deck 10 in the library people forever queing to get on to them but not cheap at 10 a hour and connection rather poor I got a refund as argued that I had been charged when the ship had no connection they checked this out with head office and confirmed this. Wi fi available at a big cost but I never used it. A small selection of books in all languages in the library.
Towels given out on the decks so no need to pack any
No one dresses up on this cruise ship felt over dressed at times they only made an effort on the formal nights, even at evening meal many came in t-shirts which we feel should not have been allowed.
Cannot comment on trips as we did our own thing much cheaper with exception to St Petersburg which we booked on line 3 weeks before the cruise wherever we tried the companies told us no group tours left so had to have a private one at the cost of 700 for 2 days this was more than we paid for the 12 day cruise we did not feel it was value for money the guides did not come as early as on the itinerary and got us back earlier than the itinerary and rushed us from one place to the other we had to snatch taking photos and lunch was 10 minutes manically eating our food same with a souvenir stop over that was 10 minutes rushing about to frantically find something not enjoyable at all as not able bodied to do this, guides very informative and friendly.
Not nice having to be out your cabin by 8am when you luggage is taken off ship 1am previously so everyone looking for somewhere to sit waiting for their colour to be called to disimbark.
All in all had a great time great company even though only 300 Brits on board made some great friends, liked the elegance of the ship and enjoyed the cruise even with a few things that got on our nerves so booked another one this November.
Used the hairdressers 3 times whilst there which was good and around 30 for blow dry.
Was told that staff have been informed that it will be compulsory to speak good English over the next couple of weeks so no idea if this as been an issue as we struggled to find staff that spoke both good English and understood what you was saying back. They did have a member of staff Sean who you could meet once a day with problems, he seemed to play things down as I assume they are instructed to do.
Our cabin was lovely a large port hole a good sized bathroom with large vanity sink, shower plenty of towels, loads of space for belongings a table and chairs a large screen tv on the wall a fridge, towelling robes and slippers in the wardrobe. Irons not allowed to be used, bed side tables best cabin we have ever had on a cruise each night cabin steward made a shaped towel on the bed and even left me a birthday card from the Captain