Excellent service on a previous river cruise allowed us to look forward to this ocean cruise with much happy anticipation. Our pre-cruise stay in Madrid was wonderful. Our hotel was near the public transportation line and we had no trouble traveling throughout the beautiful city. We spent two days at the Prado and surrounding area, and never tired of walking around the town. The bullet train took us to Barcelona for our cruise, but the scheduling allowed us a second full day to explore the city and enjoy the food before we left port. We enjoyed the various dining options on the ship. The main restaurant offered table service for breakfast and dinner with a good variety of selections. It had open seating, and we never had to wait more than a couple of minutes to be seated. The World Cafe on an upper deck had a huge selection of choices in a buffet setting with both indoor and outdoor seating. In addition, there is a grill near the main pool and Mamsen's, offering some lighter fare in the comfortable Explorers Lounge. Finally, the ship offers to specialty restaurants for which reservations are required. Manfredi's offers Italian themed dishes; while The Chef's Table serves a fixed, five-course, "themed" menu that changes every couple of evenings. There is an included shorre excursion in each port, plus numeroud optional choices at additional cost. We found all the excursion guides to be extremely knowledgeable and engaging. Giulia's "Art and Architecture" tour in Florence was fascinating and fun. Swimming in the Mediterranean Sea while docked in Monaco was another highlight of our trip. Our post-cruise stay in Rome allowed us to experience the beautiful city and see Michelangelo's David. Traveling on the "Hop on-hop off" bus gave us the opportunity to explore many of the historic sites. We've already booked our next cruise with them for the Viking Homelands.