OK - here goes. The ship is old and smaller than we've travelled on before, but having said that it is still very enjoyable. Would have liked more opportunity for late night tea/coffee after 11pm other than the messy station in the ... Read More
OK - here goes. The ship is old and smaller than we've travelled on before, but having said that it is still very enjoyable. Would have liked more opportunity for late night tea/coffee after 11pm other than the messy station in the Park Cafe. Service in dining room was excellent every night and the food was good, would have liked the menu to reflect the port we were in, but you can't have everything. We didn't bother with the speciality restaurants. Good cocktails everywhere! Buffet for breakfast and lunch was varied and extremely plentiful as usual, the quality was always good. Service everywhere was excellent, apart from one bartender in the solarium who could not understand me asking for a virgin strawberry daiquiri, he kept saying, but you don't have to pay, you have all inclusive, I got quite annoyed with him in the end, I just didn't want alcohol at 2pm! He was the only one to annoy me on the whole ship!
Entertainment slightly hit and miss, it takes a lot of careful planning to arrange an evening, around dinner, theatre etc, and good luck getting a seat if the fun is around the centrum - why they don't make more use of the bar behind the Schooner Bar is a mystery to us. Liked the pool area movies at night too. Theatre acts were not all to our taste, but there were a few that were. Always found it so cold in there, and I'm not usually a cold person.
I tried to plan our trips and take advice I'd read on here. The actual logistics of getting people off the boat and on to tenders/coaches worked very well I thought. Slightly irritated that two trips I'd booked ahead of sailing were cancelled but you can't have everything.
So here's what we did:
Cannes - took the tender across, looked around the town, saw some amazing sights at the top of the hill, then went back for swimsuits and hit the beach for a glorious afternoon of sunbathing and swimming in the warm sea.
Took the organised tour to Florence but on reflection wished we'd done the Pisa tour, beautiful place tho. (I think there was a leather factory in here somewhere but cannot recall where.)
Rome - amazing - took tour again as some distance, went on the vintage train, saw the Vatican, Spanish Steps and Trivedi Fountain. Very busy, very hot but worthwhile.
Two days sailing - went by very quickly as we were tired! Didn't make breakfast but opted for early brunch and on day 2 as we were sitting having a coffee waiting for lunch to start, gazing at the sea - I saw my first ever dolphin!
Athens, took the HOHO, went round the Plaka district and also up to the Acropolis, not for the fainthearted as it's a bit of climb and extremely busy once there but amazing, well worth the effort. Walked around the outside of the Colesseum but you really need a whole day to actually go in. So much to see! Love Athens.
Rhodes - fabulous day. Walked around the old town had lunch then hit the beach. Brilliant day, loved Rhodes. This was one of my favourite days, we loved the old town, and again to be able to go on the beach and swim in the sea was perfect.
Santorini - what can I say. We took the tour as I'd been scared off by reports of long queues for cable car etc. You take your chances, but I would swerve the donkeys! Time was just about enough, so much walking and climbing in the heat but the views are stunning. We also stopped at a winery, which I don't usually like but this one was exceptional, again with stunning views. Quite surprised that the RC tour actually drop you off to catch the cable car down - so if there is a problem you are still late! Thankfully on our day we weren't.
Sailing day - much needed rest but sadly no more dolphins.
Malta - again we took the historical city trip, Mdina and Valletta. If they still do this trip when you sail I would be cautious. It is far too rushed and again you need to be fit for all the fast walking required to cover both sites with entrances to palaces etc. missed o/a waiting for people to catch up. We are both quite fit and I for one was getting frustrated with people grumbling that the guide was going too fast! We missed an entry to one event because of this. We went back to the ship for lunch then rushed back up in the lift to the Baraka Gardens for a couple of hours. Humidity got to me tho! Loads of water needed.
Back sailing then into Barcelona. We opted for an extra day and night in a hotel as our flight was so late in the day. We picked the weekend of the massive festival with music, dancing, parades and far too many people! Massive energy and amazing buildings to see. Brilliant place.
All in all a very good itinery but the queues for places like the Colosseum and the Vatican are massive, far too long for the average port call so if you want to do any I would strongly advise you book a ticket online which offers the chance to skip the queue.
I think that's it - if you need any more info please ask. Enjoy! Read Less