Food was as expected from RCI and of high quality and variety. The ship, though older, is extremely comfortable, clean, and has amenities that are on par with a ship of her size. Staff was great--smiles all around and a sincere desire to be helpful and friendly.
Itinerary was 7 night Greek islands, and Kotor, Montenegro out of Venice. We were scheduled to leave at 5pm, which was rescheduled to 9pm. Actual departure from Venice was just before 11pm. This was due to City restrictions on ship movement through the Giudecca Canal and a very busy port that day. Because of this, we cruised at full speed to the first two ports. Though it was a bit uncomfortable, I feel the crew of the ship did everything within their power to compensate for a situation beyond their control, including added time in the first port call, Kotor. RCI did right by me by spending the extra money to move her at full 22+ kts for 2 nights and extending the first port time as much as possible.
I used a vendor through my travel agent for excursions, and I highly recommend them. You can see their offerings at shoreexcursionsgroup.com Their groups are smaller than the usual massive ship excursions, and I found the guides to be engaging, enthusiastic, very well-informed, and professional. Prices are very competitive, compared to the crazy-expensive RCI offerings for similar excursions. Check them out! I will definitely use them again.
The night before we stayed at the Hilton Molino Stucky which is across the Giudecca Canal from the cruise port. The hotel is not in the central core of the city, but they offer shuttle boat service across the canal for a nominal fee. The hotel is a renovated pasta factory, so it's interesting in that respect, big, and up to the Hilton standard of comfort. There's a complimentary full hot breakfast buffet , which was far better than most of the free breakfasts I've encountered in Italian hotels.There are several food options within walking distance of the hotel, each one offering million dollar views across the canal.
Retrospective pro tip-shell out the money for a water taxi from the airport. It's 130 Euros (up to 4 people) and money well spent for a 40 minute trip. We used the Alilaguna service (Blue line) for a very loooong 2 hour voyage to the hotel but it's inexpensive at 18 Euros, and it drops you at the front door of the hotel. The ACTV (aka city water bus) involves a bus ride to Venice then a walk to the water and it drops you about a 20 minute walk to the hotel involving navigating 2 bridges with your luggage. My opinion--this is not the time to save money!
When it's time for the port transfer, it's 8 Euros to cross the canal on the Alilaguna Blue line, which stops at the front door of the hotel and drops you at the Marittima terminal.
8102 is an aft-facing Junior Suite. Balcony is enormous with ample space for 2 chairs, a small table AND 2 chaise lounges. Stateroom is amply sized and thoughtfully designed with a sofa and 2 chairs. Bathroom is nicely sized (for a cruise ship) with a tub/shower combination which is a major selling point for me. Due to her age, the cabin does not have a walk-in closet,but there is ample room for hanging clothing and lots of storage available
Due to the location, expect some vibration and to feel ship movement, compared to midship rooms. When at full service speed (22 knots for this ship) it's downright loud (Think monkey wrench banging on the floor 3 times/second!) Most times, this is the exception rather than the norm. After all, you don't normally drive with the gas pedal floored all the time, do you? (well maybe you do....)