We were excited with this departure and the ports that were offered as well as an opportunity to practice our language skills with the various European guests. The ship is lovely and our stateroom verandah was wonderful. It was well designed and our exceptional steward kept it immaculate.
We met a French couple our first evening and were surprised to learn that they were departing the next day in Marseille. We eventually learned that guests embark and disembark at each port. We never were able to gain a ship synergy as when all the guests embark simultaneously, however, it was quite interesting seeing the different European groups coming and going.
The food was very well prepared, fresh and offered a decent variety. The restaurant staff did an admirable job given the numerous languages they are required to work in. We normally avoid buffets but the breakfast buffet was expansive and we had the opportunity to have personalized omelets made as we watched...a very short wait.
Our only complaint was the tour excursions. We had pre-confirmed tours and our first tour was cancelled. It took a lot of energy on our part to secure a substitute that was adquate. Our tour in Catania (Sicilty)combined French and English speaking guests. The guide had to translate back and forth and we often missed some of the sites during the translation. More time spent having coffee and shopping than touring...a waste of money.
However, the tour to Pompeii was exceptional with Professor Romano guiding us back in time...AMAZING!
We had a pre-paid transfer as we had to catch an international flight. We were booked on the latest departure in error and were treated rudely by the excursion staff. Their resolution: take a taxi (at our own expense). They have refused to refund the price of the transfer. Taxis are plentiful and significantly less money and the most direct way to get to the airport.