February 2014 - Costa Pacifica to Europe - Western Mediterranean
It was a honeymoon holiday for us. We flew to Barcelona to board this cruise. The port is close to town but the cruise was parked at the outermost terminal. Glad that we took a taxi from Parallel to the boarding gate. (Do not attempt to take a bus and walk even from La Ramblas... it is very far walk regardless if you have luggages.)
This cruise embark and disbark at almost every port. This is very interesting. We met a few other North Americans who boarded in Barcelona. But apparently, Savona and Marseille are the most popular embark/disbark ports for locals.
We had a Balcony cabin, it was very comfortable. Generous bedroom size and bathroom size.
The population on the cruise is mostly European families. All announcements were made in at least 4 languages including English.
When I was onboard, I was non-stop bombarded with "Book your excursion now!" information. No one forced us to book anything, but I feel that there were too much onboard-selling... it was on announcements, cabin TV, swimming pool screens... non-stop looping. I managed to visit and navigate all the ports on my own without any excursions. But I have heard good reviews on the excursions from other passengers.
Most ports have excursions organized by local companies, look at those if you have time. Much better pricing.
Drink packages, upgraded dining, jewlery sale, spa specials... these are in my face all the time! Not complaining, but for budgeting. Just beware that the cabin price only includes the basics and be ready to spend more money onboard!
The only rough day (I actually puked and stayed in bed all day) was the "At Sea" day.
Overall, it was a great experience. Great staff, great food, great shows, great ports.