My wife and I had a great honeymoon cruise on MSC Preziosa. Took the plane to Milano, went to Centrale station and then took a train to Genova, Piazza Principe.
On account of the wedding trip we got a discount (on net price, without the ship taxes and tip amounts) and a complementary champagne and fruit plate on board.
This was our first cruise and I'd say my strongest impressions would be these:
a) cleanliness of the cabin and frequency of attending it - they made up the beds and exchanged towels twice per day
b) variety of on board programs - we used the gym, deck cafes, theatre (with shows 6 nights out of 7), dance lessons, and did not have to spend any time planning our on-board activities
c) the facilities and equipment level of the ship - really impressive, everything seems to be brand new
d) shows in the theatre - singing, dancing, visual effects, fun to watch every time
There were some additional costs involved, but I wouldn't say they were hidden. It was clear in advance, at least to us, that visiting large Europe ports requires spending some money. We were offered drink packages upon embarkation, but decided not to purchase any in advance. It turned out that occasional drink and coffee, with the supplied water/tea/juices during meal time (in the buffet, not the sit-down-dining restaurant mind you) was completely sufficient.
We did not, off course, appreciate too much giving priority passing to some passengers, but I wouldn't say it affected us that much. Once on embarkation and once on boarding the ship after a port visit. The disembarkation went completely smoothly.
Our dining experience was also great. We used it only 3-4 times though and for dinner only (it was offered for breakfast/lunch/dinner). The waiters were polite and the restaurant was very nicely decorated every time.
The whole cruise seemed very well organised and functioned as predicted by their daily itineraries. Every since we got home we've been telling our friends how great the travel was. We would definitely consider taking the same trip again.
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