Having just read the previous review, I feel compelled to present a different side to the story. I was on the same cruise and had a wonderful time! Yes, there were a few glitches, such as occur one way or another on most sailings, but we refused to let them deter us from enjoying our vacation to the max.
We had booked a veranda guarantee and were okay with our room assignment, a 2A room, but were first to arrive at the port and put our name at the top of the waiting list for an upgrade. We were told that it would be later in the evening before the upgrades would be available. Sure enough, while we were at dinner we received a call telling us that a CC room was available for $200/pp. Too late to move that night but we we did so first thing in the morning. The small difference in space was well worth the extra money as it gave us the elbow room we needed to be comfortable for 14 days.
We did have some glitches with table assignment in the MDR. Our assigned table turned out to be at a group table and we were not part of that group. We were taken to a table upstairs and several ladies joined us, making 4 at a table set for 7we had requested a table for 8. The next night they were gone and a very nice single woman was there but she had asked to be placed at a singles table so she could meet people. We took matters into our own hands and talked with the maitre d'we were moved to a table for 8 with 2 couples traveling together, and were later joined by a 4th couple. We had a delightful time both on and off the ship with these folks and we all went to Normandie together one evening. We ended up with great servers, Rosario and Inacio (spelled correctly) who were of Roman Catholic Portuguese descent from Goa, India! Very interesting to hear their stories.
I was delighted when the change was made to anchor off La Spezia because we had planned to visit Cinque Terre that day and it was so much easier. One man's pleasure is another man's pain, obviously. There was a Tourist Information booth right across the street from the dock area and we got a map and walked to the train station took 10 minutes to our destination. Our tablemates were among the group caught on shore while the weather died down. They were taken to a nearby ship and allowed to wait inside out of the worst of the weather.
We did every port on our own took public transportation everywhere trains, metro, subway, buses and had a ball. The only exception was a great private tour we did to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast with some fellow Cruise Critic membersthat was a fun day! I am very anti-ship tours as I think they are a) overpriced; and b) way too insular to really experience a place. I know they work for some people, just not us. And when I add up the money we saved, it was enough to buy us three handmade Turkish rugs in Istanbul NOT at an 'approved' ship's store. I wasn't willing to subsidize the cruise line and we found a great shop on our own. They arrived a few days ago and look wonderful in our home.
And yes, it was a disappointment to miss Split, but a) stuff happens, and b) they gave us a $250 shipboard credit that could be converted to a cash refund if your account balance was less than that amount. That went a LONG way to assuage our hurt feelings!
In general the ship was in very good shape. We loved the thalassotherapy pool in the evenings after a long day touring one of the highlights for us. The only minor issue was the less-than-lovely and somewhat worn orange carpeting in our stateroom, which clashed with the blue bedspread and upholstery, and curtains of some very odd and unflattering print. I guess we could have let that ruin our cruise but in actuality didn't even notice after the first day. The staterooms need a cosmetic redo, but we had a wonderful, wonderful time and wold do it again in a heartbeat! Oh, and Venice is a must-see what an amazing place. can't wait to go back!