I've just returned yesterday from my first ever cruise vacation, which was on the Norwegian Epic around the Western Mediterranean. And what a great experience it has been! Amazing ship, very friendly staff, nice atmosphere, lots of dining options.... it was truly a fantastic holiday. Let me tell you why:
After getting to the port in Marseille, the check-in process on board was surprisingly fast. Then, it was of to see my cabin, and explore the ship. The Epic, with a capacity up to of 4100 passengers, is one of the bigger cruise ships out there (as I've been told by more experienced cruise travellers) so there is quite a lot to explore. But the ship's setup is quite straight forward, so finding your way around is easily done after a little while. And if you do get lost, there are maps and touchscreens available on every floor to help you out.
Since I was travelling by myself (background info: 27 year old Dutch guy), I've booked a Studio, which is specially designed for solo travellers. These inside cabins are very modern, with a queen-size bed, a glass shower and mood lighting. The Epic is the perfect ship to travel on for solo travellers, because of these Studios, and especially because of the Studio Lounge, which is only accessible for guests who booked a Studio. A.k.a. a great place to get to know new people and have a drink. With a solo travellers meeting every night at 18.00, with presence of one of the Cruise Staff members (William in our case, he is a great host!) and the option to go for dinner with other solo travellers too, you're bound to make some new friends.
As one of my fellow travellers named it: chabby chic. Bit of a scruffy town, but authentic Italian and cool for shopping.
Nice old aged architecture, specially around the old port.
Haven't been into Florence, only into Livorno.
Beautiful town, although quite expensive
Barcelona is nice, but has quite a big name to live up to. It's a nice city, but a little expensive, and very many tourists... no real Spanish/Catalan experience.
Little town, but an amazing shore with nice nature