Our first impressions of the ship is “It’s impressive”. The Viva is a new ship, only been at sea for a couple of months. The outside of the ship looks great with a lovely paint job. Wandering round the ship everything looks new as you would expect, no blemishes or wear on fabrics or walls.
There is a great choice of bars and restaurants, with five complimentary restaurants and 8 specialty restaurants where you have to pay. We only used one specialty restaurant which was the French Le Bistro and it was excellent. The two main complimentary restaurants with table service were busy every night and you need to reserve table in advance as sitting times are booked quickly. You can still turn up on the night but there will be a wait. The menu is the same in Hudson’s and the The Commodore Room, the later being smaller and more intimate. The menu doesn’t change match from night to night, two thirds of dishes were the same every night throughout cruise. The quality of the food is very good, or though not many vegetables, I did ask for additional vegetables a couple of times, which they catered for without question. We didn’t make use of any other specialty restaurants and some had no diners in them when we walked past some nights. The Surfside Cafe and Grill is the buffet restaurant and is very busy for both dinner and breakfast, quality of the food is good, there is a lot of choice, too much really. We ate in the Local Grill a few times for lunch and dinner, here you use a tablet to order your food off a menu with a lot of variety, and the food then gets delivered to your table, sometimes within minutes. However, not all dishes will arrive at same time, so you quickly learn how and when to place your food orders.
Entertainment wise, we went to Sid Normans Pour House a few times as the house band are excellent and they even did a Prom Night show in the main theatre on last night of cruise. A couple of the entertainment (singers) around the public bar areas were not very good, but then we do go to a lot of pubs and see bands at home, so we have high standards maybe.
We had an inside cabin on deck 11. Immediate response upon entering was “wow”. Cabin is a generous size with a large double bed. There are bunk beds stowed in ceiling above bed for use by a family. Plenty of storage space, including enough coat hangers for both our sets of clothes. The bathroom is large too with a shower that is approx 1 meter long, so plenty of room to manoeuvre whist showering, unlike other cabins we have been in.
The cabin is well insulated so no noise from neighbours, either side or next deck. In fact it was hard to hear the announcements that are played in the corridor.
Great city to visit. Due to the main sights being spread out, made use of the metro, to get around, very easy to use.
Lovely place to visit, walk along the promenade, and then into the town and the shops. Lots of cafes and restaurants to choose from. There is some great artwork of film stars on the side of a building in the town, a must see.
Our tour guide took us to a not very nice area, it is very industrial too. The main place to visit is the old port but this is not within walking distance of the port.
The big downside of Ibiza is getting from the port to the town, too far to walk, so you have to either get a shuttle bus, taxi or the boat shuttle. All have long queues, which eats into your time at the port. Ibiza old town is lovely, great place to wander around.
Lovely beach within walking distance of getting off the ship. A nice place to wander around and they have been developing the promenade and it is nearing completion. When finished it will be a great place to walk, shop and eat & drink.
We were disappointed with Valencia, there was not much to see within walking distance and it is not somewhere where we would look to go back to.
The port of Civitavecchia is actually a 70 min train journey from Rome, we were lucky that this was the end of our cruise and we had a two night stay in Rome planned before flying home. Rome is a great city and some many sights to see, too many ruins to view, they seem to be everywhere. Some great architecture to view. We bought a 24 hour hop on hop off ticket and initially just sat on the bus and did the full circuit to get an appreciation of the city. We then started getting off to view the main sites, St Peter’s Square, Vatican, Trevia fountain, Spanish Steps etc.
A city I would definitely go back to and spend more time looking around in more detail, 2 days not enough.
The ship stopped at Livorno which is the gateway to Florence and Pisa where everyone goes. We had done these places before so we went into Livorno, this was a mistake, nothing to see or do, it was a Sunday, but nothing to see. A guide did say that everyone just passes through and it shows.