I booked a cruise on the Costa Fascinosa for my wife and I, and our 12 year old son. This was our first cruise as a family.
I made the booking late in 2013 for a departure in August 2014. My travel agent in South Africa recommended the cruise especially as it met our requirements in terms of dates, duration and destination. The prices were competitive, and we received a significant discount for booking in advance.
However, as we started to make our plans in respect of the procedures, the "do's and don'ts", excursions and other questions first timers would naturally have, I started reading the reviews on Cruise Critic. I now wish I hadn't as it is clear that the majority of reviews were written by people who are quite simply never satisfied. In some cases I wonder whether the reviews are not written by competitors because they are just so misleading.
We took a room with a balcony which proved to be the best choice when cruising in scenic places like the Greek Isles, Dubrovnik and Venice. We were able to enjoy views from the luxury of the cabin while getting ready in the morning etc. Maybe not a must for all cruises , but I must say having daylight, fresh air and a view is worth the extra expense. The room was more than adequate, even for three people. No complaints whatsoever. Bed was comfortable, TV had a few English channels, the interactive services worked well. Our room was nicely positioned closer to the rear which was appropriate for dining and the adult pool area.