I ready all the reviews prior to my trip and want to be able to provide good feedback. Me and my wife are in our mid to late forties. We have previously sailed with Royal Caribbean and Princess. We flew in from Ft Lauderdale to Atlanta to Rome on the day of the cruise. I wouldn't do that again. We actually had a delay in Ft Lauderdale and arrived in Atlanta just in time for boarding. If I had to do over I actually would have a arrived a few days early to see Rome and adjust to the time. We took the ship excursion (the rest were private excursions) to see Rome. It was ok. Most of time you are in the bus and you are so wiped out from the trip you just want to get on the ship. Embarkation was easy.
Please see the Port sections about what to see and visit.
Dinner- I read so may reviews that complained about the dinner at night, but we found it to be very good. We did have an issue with service and didn't like the fact we were sitting on a rectangular table for 8 instead of a circular table. We complained and the next night we were moved to a different table and the service was actually so much better. We had the late seating 8:45, which we like to give us time to rest after the excursion's and hang out by the pool for a few hours prior to dinner.
Entertainment- I read reviews that people didn't go to the shows. Go to the shows. They were all very good. This is your vacation. Stay up and live a little. Like they say on the ship-you can sleep at home.
Cabin- We had an Inside cabin. Most people had balconies. We rather have used the money on excursions than the balcony. The reason is that we hardly spend any time in our room anyway. The room was plenty big and they had the biggest shower that I have seen. Our room attendant (Joyce) was very good.
Plenty of room. Walls are thin. Heard the people in the next cabin talking. My wife wanted a more powerful hair blower.
Do on your own. Also do not take the taxis that are close by the port. Walk to the bus station (about 10 minutes) and there are taxis their. We actually found another couple walking there and joined them to share a taxis. It was 120 Euros. The taxis at the port wanted 150 Euros for 2. It takes about 45 minutes to get there. The driver was going about 100 miles per hour. This isn't not exaggerated. Negotiate for 2 hours which is enough time to walk around and to see the Amphitheatre. The port itself Sicily/Messina is not worth visiting.
We hired a private comapny to take us around. We also spent a full day which I recommend. You need it to see everthing. We used Nikos Loukas (email@example.com) It was 350 Euros for 4 of us. It does cost extra to see the museums and our own lunch. It was well worthn it. When you have a private exursion you don't have to mess with a bus load of people.
We did this on our own. We also got lucky and din't have to Tender. The ship had provided free bus transportation into Mykonos and we walked to the port to take a ferry to Delos. It takes about 25 minutes to get there, however the waters were so rough coming back it took over 45 minutes. Mykonos is very quaint and beautful. If you like you can spend your whole time just walking aroung Mykonos. There are tons of little shops and restaurants. We made sure for lunch we had a gyro.
We took a private excursion with Hello Ephesus. The driver was excellant but we did have a few issues. They mentioned they take credit cards but at the end of the excursion they would'nt take it because he said the office was closed. Our friends had cash to bail us out. You can use American money. Also the excursion was suppose to be just for the 4 of us. However there were 3 people whose driver didn't show up so they had to join us. They were very nice, but to the point, I was disappointed 4 became 7. Whatever you decide to do make sure it includes the Terrace Houses. I'm pretty sure the ship doesn't include with their excursions.
We did this also on our own. Make sure you visit "Old Town". We spent about 3 hours walking around. There are tons of shops. from the ship you can't tell. After luch we walked to the beach. It is about a 20 minute walk which is real easy. For us Floridians, the water was freezing.
We did have to Tender. There are 3 ways to get up to Santorini. You can walk up, take the donkey up or the venicular (cable car)It is very steep. The views are incredible. Make sure you stay for lunch and choose a restaurant that is over a cliff.
Naples- We used Italy Limousine which I would recommend. The driver didn't speak the best English but we got by. We visted Pompeii, Rovello, Positano and the Amalfi Coast. If we had to do over we would have spent more time in Positano and just walked around. We did have luch here. We ate at Three Sisters Restauarnt which was on the beach. we had deiciuos pizza. In Pompeii you may want to hire a private guide. We didn't but probably should have.