My husband and I specifically chose this cruise to participate in a Holistic (Vegan) Holiday at Sea. The cruise experience was mediocre at best, but from talking to others, not everyone felt the same way. However, probably 9 out of 10 people we asked had opinions that echoed ours: the crowding, disorganization, and poor food were discouraging.This was my fourth cruise so I had a good idea of what to expect. Italians don't seem to like people very much. I experienced a general disdain at worst, and being ignored at best, by the Italian cruise staff. Staff did not seem to know how to handle a large crowd. There were huge lines to board and disembark. There seemed to be no organization or method. There was very little communication to the passengers as to what to expect. The dining experience was a disaster. There were long lines, the standard food was low in quality, the vegan food also missed the boat as staffers/chef did not seem to understand what "vegan" means. We were shuttled to the dining room when the lines at the buffet were too long. We Holistic Holiday at Sea guests were expected to wear a white armband 24/7, but it was never checked. I did not like having to eat/sleep and shower in the darned armband if it was not used to gain access to the lectures. It was my husband's first cruise and his parting words were "never again." The cabin was comfortable. The bathroom smelled like urine. There was dirt/dust caked under the mini-fridge. The cabin person was sweet and attentive. The high point of our trip was having a room with a balcony (although a doubling of the per-person rate was WAY too expensive), and I spent many an hour out there, because the ship was too crowded. All in all, I was disappointed in the experience.
The bathroom smelled of urine. The curtains were in need of repair. The sofa was stained. We could hear people walking around over our heads at night. The high point was the balcony. It was disappointing that movies were offered on the television, but there was a surcharge. There should not have been an extra charge.
The ports of call were shabby and poor. The poor locals swarmed us for money. It was a disheartening experience, but not unexpected. We purchased souvenirs in an effort to support their economy.
This was the most beautiful port we visited. Crystal blue water and colorful surroundings. We took a water taxi to the main shopping district.
We enjoyed walking around the city.