Basically, I was not a cruise person, but was generously invited on this one. Since it fit my schedule I went, and the overall experience exceeded my expectations!!!
The ship is beautifully appointed (down to plenty of bookshelves with great books to borrow), the staff was first class, the food was amazing, and the tours were extremely well-organized. Kudos to the always-charming Cruise Director Ray Michaels and Shore Excursion Manager Lichen Louw...great Port Talks,too! (Should mention that the extra lectures by Jeremy Paterson were especially informative and thought-provoking.)
The staff constantly went above and beyond, with a smile every time -- whether in the restaurants, taking care of our cabins, or anywhere. A lasting memory is the welcome we received after our chartered train brought as back from Berlin -- the ENTIRE staff was on land whooping it up and serving us champagne to boot!
Excellent, well-appointed accommodation, roomy with great service (and fridge replenishment) -- wish we would have had more time to enjoy the actual veranda or the choices on TV (where Shore Talks and other lectures could be accessed if you missed the live presentations). Room-service for breakfast was good alternative to help keep to the schedule, and it always came right on time!