This was our first voyage on the Ovation, in the past we had sailed on the old 212 passenger Spirit as well as the Odyssey and Sojourn. I preferred the Ovation, partially due to the age of the ship. The Ovation is only a year and a half old. We did not notice any significant drop-off in service on the larger ship. As on the other ships the service was excellent with a few minor hiccups. The Ovation's decor is a big step up from the Sojourn particularly in the Grill. The new dark wood veneer in the cabin was an improvement over the blond wood on the older ships. The food was excellent as always. Some of our favorite meals were al fresco at Earth and Ocean. The shows were small productions but excellent quality. Due to the layout, the ship never felt crowded. After grabbing a prime spot at Seabourn Square in the morning for coffee and newspapers we assumed the ship was only half occupied. We were surprised we told it was 90% full. You will never feel cramped on this ship. This is not a ship for children. This is not the ship for you if you want to go to a disco at night or water slide during the day. If your idea of fun is a well made cocktail, an elaborate meal and then listening to Popular standards then Seabourn has you covered.
No reason to take a tour. Grab a map and walk.
We took a ferry about 30 minutes each way to Reggio Calabria to see the excellent Archaeology Museum. The ferries are 3 euros each way and leave every half hour close to the cruise port. While not seen on this trip Taormina is a must see. The Greek theatre is spectacular. Once again as soon as you exited the port there were multiple tour operators offering trips for 10 euros.
Not much to see in Civitavecchia. The transfer to Rome is time consuming and I would not recommend as you have to spend 3 hours traveling to spend 4 hours in Rome. We rented a car from Hertz which is close to the port and drove to the fascinating Necropolis of Cerveteri, a little over a half hour away. Also consider Ostia Antica, another historical site relatively close by. The cost of a car, insurance and gas was about $82 for the day for four people. Driving was easy. I would strongly suggest renting a car rather than an excursion to give yourself freedom at a lower cost.
Musee de l'Annonciade is a small but interesting museum. Expect to spend an hour. The rest of the town is interesting for strolling but there are no must see spots. I would have preferred a different port