Surprisingly easy considering we were in a foreign country (Italy). We booked our airfare and port transport through Princess so when we got off the plane, a representative met us in baggage claim. We tagged our bags there for the ship and were directed to a bus which took us to the port (about an 1 1/2 hour drive outside Rome). Ship check in was as easy as it is in the states - show them your passport, credit card and preprinted boarding pass and you're ready to rock n roll. Cabin:
Very neat and clean - room steward introduced himself upon our arrival and showed us how to contact him directly should be need anything. Normal amenities and size. Bed was made twice a day which was great for us because we liked to take afternoon naps. Food:
I give it a solid B. Food in the sit down dining room is always better and this was no exception. As a 12 day cruise we had 3 formal nights - I would've been OK with 1. The dining room had better meat selections then the buffet which featured a lot of sides as opposed to main dishes. Room service was also better than the buffet food, but the breakfast buffet was wonderful and had literally every breakfast food you can imagine. Entertainment:
As with any cruise, round the clock activities were planned. I will say that since this was a Med cruise it seemed like there was a lot less going on when we were in port on the ship because the crew expected everyone to disembark. I wasn't too upset with this because that's what we did. I highly recommend the excursion tours when you're in foreign countries dealing with a language barrier and foreign currency. We wound up spending more trying to tour Naples on our own then by booking an excursion in every other stop. Also, with the excursions you get so much - especially about the local culture since the tours are run through local companies. We were usually pretty tired by the end of everyday so didn't participate in the on board activities as much as usual, but they did cater to all age ranges which was nice since the average age on our cruise was retiree. Public areas:
this was the nicest ship I've ever sailed on - attention to detail was superb and everything was beautiful. Everything was very clean and well maintained and the maintenance guys were always about fixing or cleaning something. It was neat that areas of the ship had themes. Disembarkation:
equally as easy as embarkation. Our bags were taken off the ship the night before. When we got off, we picked up our bags and were directed to various buses which took us back to the Da Vinci airport. From there it was just going through airport security. Cruise line made sure we were at airport in plenty of time. This review was writen in part with Jessica Galle, a Cruise Radio correspondent.
Doug Parker is the founder of Cruise Radio. He has been in the media industry for more than 10 years. His Web site, CruiseRadio.net, offers industry news, on demand interviews, video and travel tips. Cruise Radio is the worlds only independent cruise travel show.