Just back from three weeks in Italy and the Adriatic, twelve days of which were on Insignia. First time on O, and we're very impressed. I may do a review if I get around to it. Bottom line: it'll be tough going back to the big ships after the food, service and shipmates we found on this trip.
It was a trip full of amazing coincidences and serendipity. Here's the most remarkable one. . .
We cruised with my cousin and her husband. Over a year ago, at the anniversary of the Holocaust, I posted a story here about their trip on the QMII, on a cruise they take every year with a charity group that is involved with Holocaust survivors. Turned out that one woman in their group had the same last name as another passenger (a man) who was not in the group. They were introduced to each other, and after a few minutes of conversation they realized that they were first cousins who last saw each other as children on a wagon bound for the death camps. The male child managed to escape by rolling off the wagon; the female was deemed able-bodied and useful, and she was spared death and put to work until the liberation. Neither ever knew what became of the other, and each assumed the other was dead. Until they met on a cruise.
Chapter two: Main dining room of the Insignia, first evening of our cruise a couple weeks ago. The four of us were seated at a table for six. After a few minutes the maitre d' asked if we'd mind if another couple joined us. "Of course not." They sit down, and my cousin's husband says, "So, Morris, how have things been since the QMII?" Same guy and his wife.
I don't know how you figure the odds of something like that, but it literally gave me a chill. The six of us broke bread together a few times, met for drinks, etc. Lovely people. We even bumped into them again while shopping in Venice a couple days after the cruise ended.
Overall, it was probably the finest single cruise-related vacation we've ever taken. Tough to come home, even after three weeks.