We did a 2-B-2 cruise on Equinox July-August from Rome to Barcelona and back. The cruise was absolutely lovely and so close to luxury you can get in a ship for nearly 3000 passengers and affordable price. The ship is in beautiful shape and the staff were most of the time effective and courteous.
Check-in in Civitavecchia went extremely smoothly as least for the select members of Captain Club. It took less than 15 minutes from handing out the bags to have a glass of sparkling inside the ship. Only problem, as usual in this port, was to get from the railway station to the terminal. There were no taxis available so we took the shuttle to the port and the second to the terminal with all the bags. That went still good but is not exactly a luxurious start for a cruise.
The selling of beverage packages is noticeable but don´t let it disturb you. A simple no thank you will do. We did though upgrade our classic package to the premium. The Oceanview cafe was surprisingly quiet in the first day. Sail-away from Civitavecchia is never a highlight of a Mediterranean cruise but was still nice. The first night in the Silhouette Select dining was a bit chaotic as always but easy compared to many other cruise lines.