We boarded the Preziosa for a one week cruise starting in Valencia with stops at Marseilles, Genoa, Citivecchia, Palermo and Valletta. The embarkation procedure was much better than most. People are getting on and off the ship at every port so there is fewer people and we didn't have to wait at all.
The first impression of the ship is that it is beautiful, glitzy, new and clean. It is very large with many bars and sitting areas indoors and out that didn't seem to be filled up at any time.
We had a balcony cabin and it was smaller than others we've had on MSC Magnifica and other cruise lines. Nowhere to sit except the bed and the balcony. In November evenings sitting outside is a bit chilly! Not enough storage space for clothes etc.
The whole dining experience is abysmal. Our first experience was the Golden Lobster for lunch. The tables and chairs are packed in so tight it is ridiculous. They have a small buffet in there but you can barely pass by all the tables to get to it. The waiter was rude, condescending and aggressive. Not a good start. We were assigned a table in L'Arabesque for our evening meals. The decor is much better than the Golden Lobster but still very crowded and still very poor service. Then lunch at the Inca & Maya - OMG. It is a madhouse. Some food good - some not so good - some food cooked - some, not so much - some too much. They have a drinks package for mealtime drinks which makes everyone stay in the buffet restaurant as long as possible, thereby adding to the pandemonium. Every meal felt like it was fighting a crowd - and I think crowds make people rude and obnoxious. There are no alternatives unless you want to pay. The quality of the food in the restaurants is not good so I don't know what would make me believe they could do better if I paid extra. The food is quite bland and the meat is low quality and usually quite grisly. Most of the paid restaurants were always empty. I sent a note to the dining manager with my thoughts on the poor service but I guess he/she wasn't interested because I never got a response.
Other thoughts on the ship - the air conditioning isn't good in all parts. Our room air con never came on - thankfully we had a door to open. Not enough attention paid to hand cleaning - the stations are out of the way and often empty.
Kids! Everywhere there are Kids! Prams and kids!! If you don't want to be around a lot of kids find another cruise. And for some reason the kids run around freely, are loud and boisterous and often there is no sign of a parent in sight.
The nightly entertainment was good. They have a very talented team of singers, dancers, gymnasts and acrobats. Each evening is a different theme - all good except the opera one! Even my opera loving husband had to leave after the first number! The sound engineers need to improve.
The ports of call were all good. Valencia is beautiful and you can get a bus into the town just around the corner from the terminal. There is a big sign pointing you in the direction and telling you the bus numbers. It is 1.50 one way and you pay the driver. The main part of the old city is easy to walk around for the day.
Marseille - we took the ship transfer to the town centre for 15.90 each. Wandered around the harbour for awhile and took the little land train up to Notre Dame de Grace which is really something not to be missed!
Genoa and Palermo are nice Italian cities if you can look past thier inability to keep their cities clean and respectable. I always feel sad when I see beautiful old buildings with graffitti everywhere and dirt all over the place. But that is Italy... For Rome I recommend grabbing a tour just outside the terminal when the shuttle drops you off. They are good, can choose your language and they get you back to the port in plenty of time. Much less expensive than the ship will charge.
Valletta was really beautiful. You can walk along the street in front of the terminal and you will come to a lift that will take you up the cliff to the old town. Lovely to walk around there and enjoy the views, nice restaurants and lots of shops. People are friendly and you can get free wifi in the main square.
All in all the places we saw were great and we had a good time - but I would most certainly not be going back on that ship again.