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10/29/06


s73645
"We will not sail with this line again. <br />We will not cruise Europe.... we enjoyed it so much more as a land based vacation."

TRIP INFO

Sail Date:10/29/2006
Destination:
Departed From:
# of Nights: 
Cabin Type: 
Sailed As: 

RATINGS

Food:<p>blank</p>
Itinerary:
Cabin:
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Embarkation: 
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COMPLETE REVIEW

We were in CC cabin 8067.

Embarkation was a breeze, no waiting. Check-in personnel were efficient and polite. The ship was nicely decorated, but the layout was somewhat choppy. The shops were small and uninteresting, but I find most shops uninteresting. The library was very nice and the librarian most helpful. The spa was wonderful, the staff was very friendly and proficient.

The gym was spacious but the equipment was old and in various states of disrepair. (maybe they will remedy this in dry dock) Our cabin was in very good condition. Our stateroom attendant left alot to be desired. If I found her to be in charge of my cabin again, I would have to ask to be relocated. Fortunately, her assistant worked in overdrive to make up for the deficiency.

As for concierge class... If you are accustomed to the services provided by a competent hotel concierge, you will be greatly disappointed. The concierge on this ship was incapable of arranging event tickets, finding train schedules, making dinner reservations, or arranging for taxi service. The concierge was unable to perform one single requested task.

The dining room was very nice. We had been assigned to a table of 8 in a crowded area of the restaurant, but requested a change to a table for 2. We are not very socially adept, and uncomfortable in crowds. We were immediately changed to table 522 (just around the corner from Joey and David.) and were quite happy there. Our waitstaff: Sanjay, Richard, and our Sommelier Sebastian were the service highlight of the cruise. They attended to our every need and anticipated our wishes. In general the food was just slightly above a good chain restaurant, the filet mignon and the pistachio cream were excellent exceptions. The buffet was just average with poor selection, the same for room service.

We did one ship sponsored shore excursion (Athens and Sounion) it was nice as bus tours go... I just do not like buses. Entertainment was minimal and uninteresting. The port intensive schedule combined with the advanced age of the cruisers contributed to a rather sedate experience. It seemed that most of the ships "activities" were geared toward getting you to buy something. The level of selling on this ship was greater than on any other we have sailed.

We chose to stay at the airport Marriot the last night in Venice as we had a very early morning flight. Our final impression of the ship was marred beyond recovery by the aforementioned incompetent concierge. We requested a taxi be called to pick us up at the ship terminal and take us to our hotel. The first four times we called with this request we were told the concierge was tied up and would get back with us. Mind you, we had called the concierge desk the day before to inform them of our travel needs and were told " call us just before you are ready to disembark, it is no trouble to get a taxi." So we are waiting with our luggage in our cabin for the concierge to call.....not spending time in Venice. When we finally contacted a concierge by calling them again.... they never called us.... we were told "go on down to the terminal, the taxi will be there. Just ask the guard at the gate where to find the taxi."

We rolled our luggage to the ships terminal... no taxi...we asked the guard at the gate... he didn't speak english and didn't seem to understand the word "taxi".... so I asked him in italian... he just shook his head. We waited outside the terminal with a pile of luggage looking for any sign of a taxi.... not one hint of one ever arriving. We rolled all of our luggage into Piazzelle Roma and hired a taxi to take us to the hotel.

In summation:

We will not sail with this line again.

We will not cruise Europe.... we enjoyed it so much more as a land based vacation.

We will probably cruise Alaska and tropical destinations for laid back relaxing and scenery watching.

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